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Is The State Holding Your Unclaimed Property?

At any given time, the State of Minnesota is holding millions of dollars in “unclaimed property” that has been abandoned or not claimed by citizens. Examples of unclaimed property are bank accounts, utility security deposits, funds not claimed under insurance policies, and the like.

Most unclaimed property results from a change in address, a death, or just plain forgetfulness. State officials estimate that there is a 1 in 20 chance that the State is holding unclaimed property for you. Here is how you can check if there is unclaimed property in your name.

How to find unclaimed property in Minnesota

Under State law, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is responsible to gather and distribute unclaimed property to its rightful owners. The law requires that banks, insurance companies and others forward unclaimed property to the Department of Commerce’s unclaimed property fund if there has been no activity for three years. For example, if a deposit held by a utility has not been claimed by the owner for three years after the account has been closed, the utility is required to send the deposit to the State. Banks and other firms are also required to send to the State money and other property that they have held without activity for three years.

You can find out if you are the owner or the heir to unclaimed property held by the State by contacting the Department of Commerce as follows:

Minnesota Department of Commerce
Unclaimed Property Division
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 600
Saint Paul, MN 55101
651-539-1545
e-mail:unclaimed.property@state.mn.us

You may obtain information on how to file a claim, download a claim form or view the Department’s un­claimed property database online at www.commerce.state.mn.us. This website lists unclaimed property alphabetically by name, if known.

How to find unclaimed property in other states

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) maintains a database of each of the 50 states’ unclaimed property websites. The NAUPA site may be found at www.unclaimed.org. Click on “Select a State,” scroll to any state in which you have lived or may have owned property, and click to find if you have unclaimed property in that state. The NAUPA website also has links to news about and other sources for finding unclaimed property.

Hiring “skip tracers” to find your property is not necessary

There is no charge or cost to find out if a state is hold­ing property that belongs to you. This is something you can do by yourself for free just by contacting the appropriate government agencies. Yet, private companies, known as “skip tracers,” sometimes contact citizens offering to search for any unclaimed property in your name for a fee, typically 20% to 30% of the value of the property. There is no need to hire a skip tracer to find out if there is unclaimed property in your name.

Unclaimed property held by the federal govern­ment

Links for sources of unclaimed property held by the federal government include: Department of Housing and Urban Development http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/comp/refunds/fhafact.cfm Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation https://search.pbgc.gov/mp/ National Credit Union Association http://www.ncua.gov/Resources/AssetMgmtCenter/Unclaimed.aspx

Other sources of information on unclaimed prop­erty:

The Internal Revenue Service (tax refunds) 1-800-829-1040

United States Department of the Treasury (savings bonds) 1-800-553-2663

United States Department of the Treasury (other Treasury securities) 1-800-722-2678

For more information, contact the Minnesota Depart­ment of Commerce or Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as follows:

Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 500
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 539-1500
www.mn.gov/commerce/

Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353
1-800-657-3787
TTY: (651) 297-7206
TTY: 1-800-366-4812

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