SALT LAKE CITY — As part of an annual, tax season-tied outreach campaign, Utah State Treasurer David Damschen announced that the state’s Unclaimed Property Division received more than $37.6 million in abandoned property — from abandoned bank accounts to forgotten safe deposit boxes — in the second half of 2015. Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division currently safeguards over $370 million in unclaimed property and continues increased efforts to reunite money with its rightful owners.
The new listings reflect 197,009 new properties with the last known names and addresses of people whose abandoned property was reported to Unclaimed Property Division between July 1 and the November 1, 2015. The majority of unclaimed funds are turned over to the state at the reporting deadline, and approximately 97 percent of this is the property of Utahns. Treasurer Damschen said:
Each year as tax season approaches we remind Utahns to check mycash.utah.gov to see if they have lost or abandoned property – anything from dormant bank accounts and deposit refunds missing a forwarding address – to forgotten safe deposit boxes. And I’m proud to report that Unclaimed Property’s 2015 outreach campaign and new website increased paid claims by 107 percent.
Both the March 2015 launch of the new, simplified mycash.utah.gov website and updated education and outreach campaign fueled tremendous growth in Utah’s paid claims. The new website makes it easier for residents to search for – and collect – money that may be owed to them.
At the height of the campaign, monthly paid claim volume quadrupled from an average of 977 to over 4,000. In FY2015 alone, a record $22.5 million was paid out to owners who filed claims.
The newly processed and confirmed $37.6 million in abandoned property is now searchable online at mycash.utah.gov or by calling 801-715-3300. Generally, if a property has not had any activity for three years, it is considered abandoned, and by law, the holder must turn it over to the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Treasurer’s Office — a process that occurs throughout the nation.
“Even with aggressive education campaigns a barrier still remains — many people don’t respond to inquiries about or go looking for property they don’t know they’ve lost,” Dennis Johnston, administrator of Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division, said. “Perhaps they’ve moved and forgot they had a deposit with the utility company – or overpaid at the eye doctor five years ago. Either way, checking to see if you’ve lost property is simple, easy and something everyone should do.”
“We urge all Utahns to look up everyone they know and help get this abandoned money back into the hands of its rightful owners,” Treasurer Damschen added. “Seeing Utah citizens reunited with their lost property is one of the highlights of this job and I want to continue seeing record claim levels.”
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