There Are More than One Million Unclaimed Property Accounts in Wisconsin!
The state of Wisconsin, according to State Treasury representatives, has around $350 million in unclaimed funds to date. Approximately one out of five residents is owed money in The Badger State. This money comes from financial accounts that have become inactive, or in the form of uncashed checks. Sometimes people lose track of their money and accounts. This happens quite often, as several billion dollars is owed to millions of Americans altogether.
In Wisconsin, nearly $200 million has been returned to citizens so far, with the average claim being $750. Needless to say, most people could use an extra $750! For the most part, all of the unclaimed property includes intangible items, including uncashed checks, money orders, savings accounts, unclaimed stocks and bonds, mutual funds, unclaimed payroll and benefits, etc. However, some safety deposit boxes and their contents are considered unclaimed assets as well.
In Wisconsin, the amount of time that must pass before property can be turned over to the state is typically five years. The Treasurer’s Office will try to contact the owners by sending out mailings to their last known address. The Treasury Office representatives also try to be active in their search for the owners by attending state fairs and events.
Since there isn’t enough room to keep all of the physical items, such as jewelry, old sports memorabilia, family heirlooms, etc, auctions are held every now and then in order to get rid of them. The proceeds are used by the state until the owners or their heirs come along to claim it. People are allowed to make a claim at any time for the property.
Over the past few years, an average of $20 million has been returned to owners each year, and the state still has hundreds of millions more. The $350 million climbs every year as more accounts become dormant. The state of Wisconsin has made its account database public, so residents and businesses can search to see if they are owed any money. Some of the accounts belong to people in other states as well.
Most of the money belongs to people and businesses located in Milwaukee and Madison. However, as there are more than one million accounts, it’s clear that many people throughout the state have money owed to them. The database is available online, and is open to anybody wishing to do a search.
Each account has a property ID number, and some people have more than one account. Recently, one lady found that she had more than 20 unclaimed property accounts that totaled to more than $100,000! Obviously, doing a search is worth a try.