Unclaimed property specialists from the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office will be at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island to help fairgoers search and file claims for money they didn’t know they were missing, State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
The State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property booth will be in in the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center and will be staffed from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day of the fair, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
“The State Fair is one of our biggest outreach events of the year, and for the past several years the amount of money we have found for fairgoers has increased significantly,” Stenberg said. He said more than $53,000 in unclaimed property was returned to rightful owners as a result of claims generated at the 2014 State Fair. A total of 151 claims were approved as a result of fair activity in 2014.
For comparison, just $31,000 was returned to owners in 2011 as a result of activity generated at all dozen or so outreach events that year, including the State Fair.
“We look forward to helping Nebraskans search our list of names for property that might belong to them or to their family or friends. We also have millions of dollars of property that belong to organizations, businesses, and institutions, including schools, churches, and health care facilities, and are happy to help visitors search for that property as well,” Stenberg said.
In all, the Treasurer’s Office is holding more than $135 million in unclaimed property for 350,000 owners. So far in 2015, almost $5.6 million has been paid representing 10,354 claims.
The single largest amount in the Treasurer’s Office unclaimed property holdings is a trust for an Omaha couple valued at more than $88,000 plus more than $400,000 in stocks. Also among the largest properties are $336,298 for an Omaha family trust; $154,681 for an owner in Webster County; $140,309 for a Ralston man; $120,247 for an Omaha man; $110,687 for a couple from Ansley; $106,118 for an estate of an Elkhorn man; $80,871 for a couple in Bogotá, Colombia, South America; $73,660 for a couple in Papillion; and $55,000 for a bank in Alliance and a co-owner, abcco. The bank has changed ownership multiple times.
Unclaimed property consists of cash and other financial assets considered lost or abandoned after an owner cannot be located for a specific period of time. The most common forms of unclaimed property are court deposits, dividends, dormant accounts, gift certificates, insurance payments, lost IRAs, matured CDs, rebates, refunds, stock and mutual funds, utility deposits, and wages.
Nebraskans can search for unclaimed property at any time through the Treasurer’s Office website at treasurer.nebraska.gov or by calling 402-471-8497 or 877-572-9688 (toll free). Claims under $500 can now be filed easily online.
The Unclaimed Property Division office at 809 P St. in Lincoln is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visitors can also search for property and file claims at the State Treasurer’s office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol.
In addition to unclaimed property searches, fairgoers are invited to stop at the Treasurer’s booth to learn more about Nebraska’s college savings program, the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST). The State Treasurer is Trustee of NEST. Parents and teachers also can pick up information about Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars, an online financial education program available to all high schools in the state at no charge.
At the Treasurer’s booth, fairgoers can find out about the Long-Term Care Savings Plan, a savings program created by the Legislature in 2006 and administered by the State Treasurer.