Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg today reminded financial institutions, government entities, and businesses of the upcoming Nov. 1 deadline for turning over unclaimed property to the State Treasurer’s Office.
“The process has been simplified as the Treasurer’s Office is now accepting reports from unclaimed property holders directly through UPExchange, a free web application for creating and submitting unclaimed property reports that meets standards set by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is a non-profit organization made up of state officials charged with collecting unclaimed property and reuniting owners with the property. Stenberg is senior vice president of NAUPA.
“This streamlined system saves time and effort for the thousands of holders who report unclaimed property annually to our office,” Stenberg said. “We appreciate the cooperation and support we receive from businesses, banks, organizations, and government entities that are holding property for owners who cannot be located. We depend on holders to help us keep our unclaimed property database complete, accurate, and up-to-date.”
In another effort to streamline the process, Stenberg said the Treasurer’s Office is no longer requiring that holder reports be notarized, as has been required in the past.
State law requires all organizations, except life insurance companies, to submit their holder reports by Nov. 1 for the period July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. State law requires life insurance companies to turn over their unclaimed property by May 1 for the year ending Dec. 31.
Companies that are holding unclaimed property for individuals and other entities may prepare their holder reports using UPExchange or HRS Pro, another free software program. Reports created using UPExchange are submitted to the state directly through the UPExchange website, while reports created through HRS Pro are submitted through the Treasurer’s website or saved to a CD and mailed to the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division.
Specific details for submitting reports using either program are available by accessing the State Treasurer’s website at https://www.treasurer.org/up/holder-reporting/report-property.aspx or by contacting the Unclaimed Property Division at 402-471-8497 or 1-877-572-9688 (toll free).
The Treasurer’s Office is holding more than $135 million in unclaimed property for more than 350,000 Nebraskans, people with Nebraska ties, and heirs. So far in 2014, more than $6.8 million has been returned to rightful owners. New properties are being added to the database continuously as the annual holder reports are filed.
Nebraska law requires that banks, financial institutions, businesses, and other organizations turn over to the State Treasurer each year property that has been abandoned or whose owners cannot be located for specific periods of time. Unclaimed property is generally cash, court deposits, utility deposits, dividends, insurance payments, lost IRSs or CDs, savings bonds, stock and mutual funds, wages, rebates, refunds, utility deposits, unused gift certificates, and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Assets are held by the state until a claim is filed and verified. If the owner or heir cannot be located, the property is held by the state for the owner in perpetuity.
Before turning the property over to the state, a holder must take steps to locate the property owner by sending a notice to the owner’s last known address at least 60 days and not more than 120 days before the reporting deadline.
State law requires a business or organization to file a report with the Unclaimed Property Division if the total value of the unclaimed property it holds is greater than $10. If the total is less than $10, the property may be carried over until the $10 threshold is met. A business or organization unable to meet the Nov. 1 deadline may request an extension of up to 90 days by filling out a form found on the Treasurer’s website at http://www.treasurer.org/up/holder-reporting/request-extension.aspx.
“We appreciate the cooperation we receive from Nebraska businesses and organizations to help reunite owners with their lost property,” Stenberg said. “Our office works diligently to promote awareness of our Unclaimed Property program and to help owners locate and document their property. We returned more than $11.2 million of unclaimed property to rightful owners in 2013, the largest amount returned since 2009.”