Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale stopped by the State Treasurer’s Office today to pick up a check for $50 that the State Treasurer received from First Westroads Bank of Omaha as unclaimed property.
The property, a cashier’s check written on First Westroads Bank in 2002, was turned over to the state in 2010.
Treasurer Don Stenberg said he was happy to turn over the money to Secretary of State Gale and to emphasize to all Nebraskans that they, too, may have unclaimed property. Banks, merchants, insurance companies, and other businesses are required by state law to turn over property to the State Treasurer’s Office when they are unable to locate owners after specified periods of time.
Almost $17 million of unclaimed property and 3.6 million shares of stock were turned over to the Treasurer’s Office in fiscal year 2011-2012. And more than $19.7 million plus 1.9 million shares of stock were turned over in fiscal year 2010-2011.
Secretary of State Gale praised the Unclaimed Property Division staff for initiating his claim and making the process easy and convenient. Treasurer Stenberg said the staff provides the same friendly service to all Nebraskans through a variety of ways to initiate claims.
“If we are receiving unclaimed property belonging to the Secretary of State, as well-known and visible as he is, we might have yours, too,” Stenberg said, urging Nebraskans to visit the Unclaimed Property booth at the upcoming Nebraska State Fair and Husker Harvest Days. “This just shows that a business you once did business with—and that has some property belonging to you—may not be able to find you, even if you are well-known in your community. That’s what we are here for,” Stenberg said.
Unclaimed Property Division specialists will be in the Exhibition Building at the State Fair in Grand Island from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3 to help visitors search for their property and document claims. Specialists also will be at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island Sept. 10 through 12 in a booth in the Diversified Industries Building.
In all, the State Treasurer is holding more than $100 million in unclaimed property for more than 350,000 Nebraskans or former Nebraskans. That means Nebraskans have a one in five chance of finding unclaimed property in their names, Stenberg said. More than 14,600 claims, totaling more than $10.3 million, were paid out in calendar year 2011.
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. 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. Unclaimed property does not include land, real estate, vehicles, or tax refunds.
Unclaimed property is held by the Treasurer’s Office until an owner or heir can be documented; the property is held indefinitely if no owner or heir can be located.
In addition to searching for unclaimed property at outreach events, Nebraskans and former Nebraskans can search for unclaimed property using the following methods: