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National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators Releases Inaugural Report

Report Shows Unclaimed Property Administrators Returned Over $3B To Americans During FY 2019

Washington, DC – The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) released today its inaugural Annual Report, a public-private partnership to provide the most in-depth look at unclaimed property statistics. The anonymized data reveals that unclaimed property programs returned a total of $3.14B to rightful property owners during the 2019 fiscal year.

“State unclaimed property programs take pride in making sure they return as much unclaimed property as they possibly can, and this report quantifies that dedication and hard work.”

Mark Bracken, NAUPA President and Massachusetts Treasury’s Assistant Treasurer and Director of Unclaimed Property. Tweet

In addition to revealing total returns of $3.14B, the data shows that the average claim amount paid was $1,780 and the median claim paid was $144.30. Furthermore, the data shows that states return roughly 50% as much as they take in, and the percentage return increases as states receive more information on the property, highlighting the need for holder record maintenance. A few unclaimed property highlights include:

  • The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office returned 40K in unclaimed property to the Salvation Army in Chicago.
  • The Oregon Department of State lands searches for owners of several unclaimed military medals, including a purple heart.
  • The Kansas State Treasurer’s Office returned more than $15K to Johnson County College.
  • Arkansas State Auditor Andrea Lea searches for rightful owner of love letters sent home during WWII.
  • The Tennessee State Treasurer’s Office returned a Purple Heart earned more than 70 years ago to a soldier’s family.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have unclaimed property programs that actively and continuously work to find the owners of these lost and forgotten assets. When the holder of unclaimed property – which is often in the form of uncashed paychecks, stock and bonds, safe deposit box contents and family heirlooms ­ – cannot locate the rightful owner after an extended period of time, the property is passed to the state and designated as unclaimed property.

Roughly 1 in 10 Americans have unclaimed property. There is never a cost associated with retrieving your unclaimed property, and unclaimed property administrators continue to work hard to return unclaimed property during this financially challenging time. A simple online search for unclaimed property can be started here.

NAUPA state members can access the full report results here.