Almost $1.1 million in unclaimed property was returned to rightful owners in March and so far in April, after publication of the 2012 Unclaimed Property report in Nebraska newspapers, according to State Treasurer Don Stenberg.
“One of my priorities as State Treasurer has been to return as much unclaimed property as possible to its rightful owners. We are continuing to work to achieve that goal by making it as easy as possible for people to file claims, yet at the same time, doing our best to make sure that the property goes to the rightful owners,” Stenberg said.
A total of 3,849 claims were approved for payment between March 3 and April 10, on pace with activity for the same period in 2011. The total paid during that period is $1,093,236. The largest claim paid since the 2012 report was published was $35,531 in the form of mutual funds. The largest single amount recorded in the 2012 report is $198,000, which has not yet been claimed. The total amount paid out so far in 2012 is $2.15 million.
By law, the Unclaimed Property Division of the Treasurer’s Office publishes an annual report of names submitted to its office in the previous year. The 2012 report includes the names of 34,321 people, organizations, and businesses that were submitted to the state between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 17, 2012. Property associated with the names totals $17 million.
In all, the state is holding more than $100 million in unclaimed property for 350,000 Nebraskans, former Nebraskans, and heirs. The property is held by the state until an owner or heir can be documented; the property is held indefinitely if no owner or heir is located. An owner or heir never loses the right to file a claim.
Unclaimed property consists of cash and other personal assets that are considered lost or abandoned after an owner cannot be located for a specified period of time. The property is turned over to the state by banks, insurance companies, merchants, and other businesses. Among the most common forms of unclaimed property are dividends, dormant accounts, gift certificates, insurance payments, matured CDs, lost IRAs, wages, rebates, stock and mutual funds, utility deposits, and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
The 2012 Unclaimed Property Report was distributed through 16 daily newspapers in the state. Copies of the report also are available at the information desk on the ground floor of the State Capitol and in public areas of the Nebraska State Office Building in Lincoln. The report also is available at Lincoln City Libraries.
Individuals also may search for their property and file smaller claims through the State Treasurer’s Office website at www.treasurer.org. Claims under $300 may be filed through the website, while owners with claims exceeding $300 are asked to call the Unclaimed Property Division or complete and mail the printed form found on the website or on the inside cover of the 2012 report.
Individuals may call the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-877-572-9688 toll free outside of Lincoln or 402-471-8497 in Lincoln. They also may file claims in person at the Unclaimed Property office at 809 P Street in Lincoln or in the State Treasurer’s Office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol.