The U.S. has billions of dollars in unclaimed property
Do you have unclaimed cash or property waiting for you? Approximately 1 in 10 people do! There are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed property, held by state governments and treasuries within the United States.
It’s free to search for yours. We’re here to help.
Learn more about how unclaimed property works and can play a part in your overall financial wellness.
What exactly is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed or “abandoned” property refers to property or accounts within financial institutions or companies—in which there has been no activity generated (or contact with the owner) regarding the property for one year or a longer period.
When does property become "unclaimed"?
After a designated period of time (called the dormancy period) with no activity or contact, the property becomes “unclaimed” and—by law—must be turned over to the state.
Types of unclaimed property
Unclaimed property can be intangible, which is the most common (ex. uncashed paychecks, stocks), or tangible (ex. safe deposit box contents). Some of the common forms of unclaimed property include:
- Checking or savings accounts
- Uncashed dividends or payroll checks
- Traveler’s checks
- Trust distributions
- Unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states)
- Certificates of deposit
- Customer overpayments
- Utility security deposits
- Mineral royalty payments
- Contents of safe deposit boxes
- Insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies
Example of finding unclaimed property
Example: Reclaiming an apartment security deposit
Joe was renting an apartment in Knoxville, Tennessee for several years before getting a job offer in Nashville, a few hours away. When Joe moved to Nashville, he updated his address with his bank and credit cards, but did not see any reason to provide a forwarding address to his prior landlord, ABC Rental Company.
After 60 days, ABC Rental Company owed Joe his $500 security deposit back. However, without any forwarding address, they were unable to contact Joe. After the one-year dormancy period expired, the $500 security deposit became unclaimed property, and—by law—was turned over to the Tennessee Department of Treasury.
The result: Joe found and claimed his $500 in unclaimed property
One evening when watching a local newscast, Joe saw how a nearby resident had been returned unclaimed property. Out of curiosity, Joe decided to find out if he had unclaimed property. Joe’s friend told him about the official NAUPA website, Unclaimed.org, where Joe could easily find out if he had unclaimed property.
Joe quickly learned that NAUPA works with each state to help return unclaimed property to rightful owners. Using the convenient, interactive map at Unclaimed.org, Joe was directed to the Tennessee Treasury’s official unclaimed property website, ClaimItTN.gov. From there, Joe was able to conduct a free search in the state of Tennessee.
There was a match! Joe discovered that he was owed $500, a security deposit from ABC Rental Company that he never received. Through the quick and easy claims process on ClaimItTN.gov, Joe was able to claim his unclaimed property at no cost, and is now $500 richer!
Ready to search for your unclaimed property?
Visit the Find and Claim section for an interactive map that will launch your state’s unclaimed property program. From there, you can conduct a free search to see if you have unclaimed cash or property in that state.