Originally published in Compass, June 26, 2014
State announces unclaimed property notices sent
State Treasurer Neria Douglass is sending direct notice to over 3,000 Mainers with newly reported unclaimed property valued at $200 or more. This property consists of financial assets that have gone unclaimed by their owners. The entire list of unclaimed property held by the State Treasurer is available at maine.gov/upsearch.
“The Office of the State Treasurer has received more than $20 million worth of unclaimed property this fiscal year that rightfully belongs to the people of Maine. This money is in addition to the nearly $190 million that has accumulated over previous years,” Douglass said in a press release. “I encourage all Mainers to check our website regularly to see if we are holding property that belongs to them or someone they know. Last year, the average claim paid by my office was over $1,000—it is certainly worth it to see if your name is on the list.”
In accordance with state law, the treasurer manages Maine’s Unclaimed Property Fund. Unclaimed property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It includes, among other items, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, overpayments, gift certificates, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks and contents of safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed property does not include real estate, animals or vehicles.
If you are ever unsure about the legitimacy of an unclaimed property notice, it is recommended that you compare it to the official list maintained on the treasurer’s website. There is no fee charged to process your unclaimed property claim whether on the official maine.gov/treasurer website or by mailing a paper claim form. Also, you do not need to pay anyone to help you make your claim, according to the treasurer.