This can be any financial asset that has not been claimed by it’s owner or has not had any owner-generated activity for a specific time period (usually one to three years).
Examples of unclaimed funds include:
• payroll checks
• money orders
• bank accounts
• mutual funds and securities
Unclaimed property is not land or other real estate. Dating back to 1957, Oregon’s unclaimed property were established to protect the consumer and provide a central registry of unclaimed property. The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) administers the unclaimed property program and works to reunite as many people as possible with their money or possessions.
Organizations and businesses throughout the United States are required to report unclaimed property to Oregon based on the owner’s last known address.
If the amount is $100 or more, they must make a good faith effort to contact the owner before reporting.
Any company or organization that writes checks, drafts or warrants has the potential to have unclaimed property to report.
Typically, unclaimed property occurs when:
• People lose or forget to cash a check, or overpay a final bill.
• A person’s address changes and mail for warding ends.
• An account holder dies and heirs are unaware of the account
About $50 million is remitted to the DSL each year and about half is returned to it’s rightful owners
Unclaimed property is held in trust forever in the Common School Fund for claim by rightful owners or their heirs.
The money is not spent by the department. Investment earnings from the fund are sent twice a year to Oregon’s 197 K-12 public school districts.
Recent annual distributions have ranged from $35.2 million in 2000 to $70 million in 2017.
It’s easy and free to search for your name and file a claim online. To ensure privacy of the owner and to discourage fraudulent claims, listings only show dollar ranges. Most accounts have a value of $250 or less.
Simple claims are normally processed within 45 days. Complex claims involving large sums, stock transfers or deceased original owners may take up to 120 days for a response.
If you find names of family or friends, refer them to the website, as they must respond for themselves.
If you find your name you can initiate a claim online. If you have any questions you can contact the DSL at:
Department of State Lands
775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100
Salem, OR 97301-1279
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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