Unclaimed property can be any financial asset that has been abandoned by its owner for a period of time specified by law.
Common types of unclaimed property include:
- dormant bank accounts
- utility refunds
- uncashed checks
- unclaimed wages
- safe-deposit boxes
- insurance dividends
- stock certificates and dividends
Money can become unclaimed for a variety of reasons including:
- People moving and simply forgeting about an account or deposit.
- People getting a check, placing it in a drawer (something they will take care of later) and forgetting.
- When people die, relatives are often unaware of an old bank account, lock box or a stock the deceased may have owned.
- People divorcing, moving, perhaps remarrying and forgetting to notify everyone.
- A clerical error at a company; perhaps the name or street is displaced or altered by a honest mistake causing mail to be returned as nondeliverable to the company.
The State Treasurer’s office maintains custody until the rightful owner or his or her heirs claims the money. At no time is an owner (or legal heirs) barred from claiming unclaimed property.
Iowa takes tries to contact the rightful owners of unclaimed funds in several ways including:
- First class mailings
- Publication of the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt
- Listings displayed at the State Fair, Clay County Fair, and the Cattle Congress
- TV special segments for the news
- Public Service Announcements
- Radio spots
If you would like to search for yourself, please go to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.
There is a little known business that lets you do that. Unclaimed money finders locate people that don’t know they money being held for them and help them to recover it.
In return, they charge a commission after the money is recovered.
Please click here if you would like to learn more about this business.