SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – You may have some money or other property that the State of Utah is hoping you’ll claim.
Recently, $52.1 million in new lost property became available to claim online via the Utah Unclaimed Property Division.
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen says the division received this lost property at the end of 2020. Funds can come from sources like dormant bank accounts, overpaid medical bills, uncashed checks, safe deposit boxes, and unpaid insurance benefits.
Unclaimed property is usually money, but the division also regularly receives items from abandoned safe deposit boxes that can be claimed. Some interesting items the division is working to reunite with rightful owners include coins, baseball cards, art, and photographs.
Under current Utah law, all businesses are required to annually review financial records to determine whether they are holding any funds, securities, or tangible properties that have been unclaimed for the required dormancy period, which is typically three years.
But where does that property go after the dormancy period? That is where the Utah Office of State Treasurer comes in.
Before the funds reach the State Treasurer, businesses are first required to take appropriate measures to avoid remitting the property, such as notifying the owner via first-class mail or e-mail.
According to the Office of the State Treasurer, if a business is unable to make contact with the owner, the property must be remitted to the state by November 1. Nearly 450,000 new properties were remitted to the division in November 2020, along with the names and last-known addresses of owners.
“There are many ways to lose track of property. People might move and forget they had a deposit with the utility company, or they might be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy they didn’t know existed. Checking to see if you or your friends and relatives have lost property is simple, easy and something everyone should do at least once every year,” Unclaimed Property Division Administrator Dennis Johnston says.
In March, the Unclaimed Property Division provided a county-by-county breakdown of unclaimed funds in Utah to ABC4.
How do you know if you have unclaimed property and how do you access it?
You may not know if you have unclaimed property, but the Utah Unclaimed Property Division has your back.
Every Utah resident – or former resident – is encouraged to search the state’s unclaimed property database online at mycash.utah.gov at least once a year. You can search for property belonging to you as well as family, friends, deceased relatives, and organizations you support.
The Unclaimed Property Division says many claims can be completed entirely online. During the fiscal year 2020 (July 2019 through June 2020), a record-breaking $40.6 million in unclaimed property was reunited with rightful owners.
What happens if those funds are never claimed?
The Unclaimed Property Division says rightful owners or heirs can claim their property in perpetuity, meaning that if you find property belonging to you or a deceased relative, you can claim it, regardless of how much time has passed. If there is more than one heir, the heirs are able to claim their portion of the property.
Despite millions of dollars being reunited with its rightful owners, not all property will ultimately be claimed, according to the Unclaimed Property Division. Some properties are reported to the state without sufficient information to identify an owner.
The Unclaimed Property Division and the Division of Finance conduct a quantitative analysis each year to determine an amount that is unlikely to ever be claimed.
“That money is used for the greatest public benefit and transferred to the Uniform School Fund, minus any unclaimed restitution for crime victims, which is transferred to the Crime Victim Reparations Fund,” the division tells ABC4.
While there have been ongoing discussions of stimulus checks, you could have funds waiting for you just a few clicks away. See if you or someone you know has unclaimed property in Utah by visiting mycash.utah.gov.
How do I claim these funds?
Below are instructions on how to claim property on mycash.utah.gov.