How Property Becomes Abandoned or Unclaimed

Most personal property is presumed to be abandoned if no activity has occurred for a number of years. The inactivity period varies depending upon the type of property at issue. The property escheats to the state which works to reunite the property with its rightful owner. You may have unclaimed property:

  • If you moved and forgot to notify your bank or broker of your new address.
  • If you left a job, but never returned to receive your last paycheck.
  • If you bought shares of stock, placed them in a "safe" place, and forgot them.
  • If you had a distant relative who passed on, leaving an estate, but the heirs were never located.
  • If you overpaid a credit card bill but did not use the credit.
  • If you experienced an address change assigned to you due to E911, but you did not move.
  • If a regular account statement was inadvertently marked undeliverable and was returned to sender in error.
  • If you have accounts in a bank, with a broker or trader, trust or other safekeeping agent with whom you have not made contact in the last 3 years.
  • If you received a check you did not cash.
  • If your forwarding order with the post office has expired.
  • If you are holding bonds that were called.
  • If you have in your possession a gift certificate, certified check, cashier's check, stored-value card, or money order you have not spent.