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Information for Claimants

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To date, more than $284 million worth of property has been returned to Minnesota residents since the Unclaimed Property Program began. As of January 2013, more than $550 million worth of property still remained unclaimed.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce received $61 million in unclaimed property funds voluntarily reported by holders, and returned $19 million back to rightful owners who filed 7,197 claims. To date, the Department has returned 31 percent of unclaimed property reported to the State to the rightful owners through the Unclaimed Property Program.”


Claimants Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions and answers aimed at claimants. Click on the question to view the answer.

  • Why does the State of Minnesota have unclaimed funds laws?
    • To protect the property rights of the owner
    • To reunite the owner with the funds
    • To provide a centralized location of contact for potential owners of unclaimed funds; and
    • To provide the holders relief from liability

  • How does property become abandoned?
    • 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.
  • How can I avoid having unclaimed property?

    Here are a few ways to ensure that your property is not turned over to the State of Minnesota:

    • Make sure insurance companies, investor relations and utility providers have your current address on file.

    • Promptly cash all refund, rebate and dividend checks.

    • Respond to stock shareholder service requests for action.

    • Fully resolve all insurance claims.

    • Identify co-owners or beneficiaries of financial and investment accounts.

    • Set up automatic withdrawal for safe deposit box rental fees.

    • Purchase cashier's checks and money orders at financial institutions where you have accounts.

    • Use store or vendor credits within 1 year.

    • Update financial/investment accounts following major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or name change.

    • Inventory type and location of financial assets and provide this information to a trusted advisor or friend.

  • What will happen to my investment accounts (i.e., stock, bonds, mutual funds) if I do not maintain contact with my broker or the company in which my funds are invested?

    Your investment accounts will be turned over to the State of Minnesota and will be liquidated after one year. The proceeds from the sale of your stock will be credited to an account in your name until a valid claim is submitted.

     

  • Why can’t I find some of the unclaimed funds on the Internet?

    The website is updated weekly. In some cases, you may find out about an account that is too new to appear on the website. That account will appear the next time the website is updated. Funds reported without a name will not appear on the website, but may require additional research with the Department of Commerce to validate.

     

  • What kinds of property are reported and how long are they kept before being turned over to the state?

    Property types and their associated abandonment period table, the holder is required to turn this property over to the state.

     

  • Why is property turned over to the State?

    To protect unclaimed property and return it to its rightful owner(s) or their heirs. Once received by our office, the Commissioner guarantees that the claimants who properly verify rightful ownership will receive their property back, even if the original financial institution or business closes.

  • Will the State return my money?

    Absolutely! Unclaimed property always belongs to its rightful owner(s). The State acts only as a custodian of your property. There is no time limit or charge for claiming what is yours.

     

  • Will I be able to reactivate my bank account?

    Yes, a financial institution or company can always reactivate your account, or pay you directly. Minnesota Department of Commerce staff will reimburse them upon request and proof that you were paid. This is a policy decision for each company.

     

  • If my account “sits” collecting interest or dividends, isn’t it still active?

    No. Even if interest or dividends are automatically deposited into your account it is not considered active unless you have contact with the financial institution or business. An action taken on property by the owner which may include making a deposit, a withdrawal, a written memorandum to the holder or any action that a state’s statute deems adequate. A financial institution or business may even cross-reference an inactive account with an active one to keep it open.

     

  • Do other states have unclaimed property laws?

    Yes. All states now have some type of unclaimed property law and many are similar to Minnesota’s. Staff can also help Minnesotans claim property reported in other states. In addition, internet users can go directly to the http://www.commerce.state.mn.us/ to search nationwide for lost or forgotten property.

     

  • What if an account is never claimed?

    Unclaimed property always belongs to its owner even if it is never claimed. All unclaimed property is held in trust until the rightful owner(s) or their heirs claim it.

     

  • How do I stake my claim?
    1. Follow the instructions on www.missingmoney.com. If you did not find your name on www.missingmoney.com, but have confirmed with Unclaimed Property that you do have property that was turned over to the State, a claim form can be mailed to you.
    2. Provide all Claimant Information and Verification of Ownership, as determined by the MN Department of Commerce Claim Form/Instructions for Completing Claim Form (pdf).
    3. Have the claim form notarized and mail both the claim form and Verification of Ownership (as well as any other supplemental forms you may need) to:

      Minnesota Department of Commerce
      Unclaimed Property Unit
      85 7th Place East, Suite 600
      St. Paul, MN 55101
  • How will I know where my unclaimed funds came from?

    The source and type of the funds will be listed on the claim form. The claim form found on www.missingmoney.com includes the name of the original holder. Additionally, you may obtain this information by emailing the Minnesota Department of Commerce at unclaimed.property@state.mn.us, or by calling 651-539-1545 from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.

     

  • Is there a time limit for claiming funds?

    No, the funds are held until the rightful owners claim them. If the Minnesota Department of Commerce requires additional proof, you will receive notification from our office with instructions for providing the additional documents.

     

  • How do I establish ownership?

    The Minnesota Department of Commerce does not pay a claim on the basis of name alone. Verification of Ownership requested may be a document that shows your name and Social Security number, or verifies that you lived at the reported address on file with the Minnesota Department of Commerce. After you complete a claim form, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will notify you if additional documentation is required. If you are not the original owner, you must first prove that the account belonged to the original owner; then you must verify you are entitled to the original owner’s money.

     

  • What do I do if the account is a joint account?

    Depending on whether or not the account is in two names with an “OR” relationship or  Joint Tenant ownership, you will need to submit the appropriate information, along with your claim form, to verify you are able to claim the property. Please refer to MN Department of Commerce Claim Form/Instructions for Completing Claim Form (pdf) for more information on how to prove a claim on a joint account.

  • If I am not the original owner, or the owner is deceased, how do I prove the claim?

    Depending on whether or not the original owner is deceased, their estate was probated, or the original owner is under guardianship, etc., you will need to submit the appropriate information, along with your claim form, to verify you are able to claim the property on the original owner’s behalf. If the original owner is deceased and an estate was not probated, you will need to submit the Table of Heirship (.pdf) to show all your heirs to the funds.

    Please refer to the MN Department of Commerce Claim Form/Instructions for Completing Claim Form (.pdf) for more information on how to prove a claim when you are not the original owner.


     

  • What other documentation might I need for various claims?

    Please refer to the Claim Form Requirements for a complete listing of the documentation required to stake your claim. Please remember that claims take 60 days to process once all the correct documentation has been submitted. To check on the status of your claim, you may email the Minnesota Department of Commerce at unclaimed.property@state.mn.us, or by calling 651-539-1545 from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.

     

  • Will I be entitled to interest?

    No, funds held by the State of Minnesota do not accrue any interest.

     

  • Does my signature on the claim form have to be notarized?

    Yes, you must have the signature notarized.

     

  • Where can I find a Notary Public?

    A Notary Public can be found at your local bank, city and county offices, police and sheriff’s departments, and most attorney offices.

     

  • What do I do with my claim forms when I receive them?

    Complete your claim forms and mail them as soon as possible to:

    Minnesota Department of Commerce
    Unclaimed Property Division
    85 7th Place East, Suite 600
    St. Paul, MN 55101

     

  • What additional information may be required with my claim forms?

    The documentation required to complete a claim varies, depending on who is claiming the property (the owner or a legal representative of the owner) and the type of property being claimed. To view these additional requirements, please download the MN Department of Commerce Claim Form/Instructions for Completing Claim Form (pdf) and return your claim form with the appropriate documentation. However, if additional information is required to process your claim, a return team member will contact you. Your claim cannot be processed until we receive all the necessary information.

     

  • My name is on the unclaimed property list. How do I find out the value of my property before I begin the claims process?

    You may call us at (651) 539-1545 or our toll–free line at 1 (800) 925-5668 to speak with a claims representative from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, or email at unclaimed.property@state.mn.us.

     

  • How can I find out the status of my claim?

    To check on the status of your claim, you may email the Minnesota Department of Commerce at unclaimed.property@state.mn.us, or by calling 651-539-1545 from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.

     

  • Why am I receiving cash instead of my stock shares that were reported?

    The Minnesota Department of Commerce holds securities in a trust account. The shares are liquidated after the thirteenth month of being held in our trust account. The exception is shares generated by demutualization, which are liquidated immediately upon receipt.

     

  • What if the owner passed away before the check for his/her unclaimed property was issued?

    If the descendant properly completed the claim prior to his death, the State of Minnesota will issue the check to the descendant, as long as the bank will allow it to be deposited into the estate account. If the descendant died without a will, a personal representative must be appointed and file a claim with the State. Please refer to the MN Department of Commerce Claim Form/Instructions for Completing Claim Form (.pdf) for more information on how to prove a claim when you are not the original owner.

     

  • Why does the Minnesota Department of Commerce have my safe deposit box contents?

    In general, if the lease or rental period on a safe deposit box has expired due to non-payment of rental fees for a period of five years, the safe deposit box is considered abandoned. The financial institution is required to open the box, inventory the items and send certain contents of the box to the State of Minnesota’s Unclaimed Property Program, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 345.32(d).

     

  • I did not receive all of the contents that I had in my safety deposit box. Where are the papers?

    Miscellaneous papers or papers without a monetary value such as birth and death certificates, deeds, and letters are held for a limited time by our office. Other contents, such as coins or jewelry, are held in safekeeping while the Department tries to find the rightful owner or until the contents are auctioned off. By law, we are required to have an auction of safe deposit box contents once every ten years.

     

  • Why did I receive cash instead of my safe deposit box contents?

    The Department makes every effort to locate the rightful owners by sending letters to their last known addresses and advertising their names in the newspaper, online, or by radio. If there is no response from the owner, the Department may sell the property at auction to the highest bidder. The claimant receives all proceeds from the sale of the property.

     

  • Can anyone bid on these items?

    Yes, except State of Minnesota employees and their immediate family members, who are prohibited from bidding on these items.

     

  • Other Questions?

    Contact Us!

    Email: unclaimed.property@state.mn.us
    Phone: (651) 539-1545 or 1-800-925-5668
    Fax: (651) 539-1547
    http://mn.gov/commerce/unclaimedproperty