State Treasurer Don Stenberg is urging Nebraskans to give themselves a holiday present this year.
“This holiday season give yourself a gift by checking the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office to see if you have any unclaimed property coming to you. You may be surprised at what you find,” said State Treasurer Stenberg.
“In addition to finding money that rightfully belongs to you, your search may uncover a memory or a family relationship that is even more meaningful, particularly at this time of year,” Stenberg said. “Our unclaimed property specialists hear many heartwarming stories from unclaimed property recipients who find money they didn’t know they were missing and re-establish family connections from long ago.”
Stenberg said Nebraskans have just enough time to search unclaimed property records, gather the necessary documentation, and file paperwork to have their checks in hand by Christmas. A check usually is mailed two to three weeks after a claim is submitted and approved, he said.
The State Treasurer’s Office is holding more than $125 million in unclaimed property for more than 350,000 Nebraskans, former Nebraskans, and heirs. So far in 2013, more than 16,800 claims have been paid, totaling more than $10.3 million, up significantly from the 2012 total of $6.6 million.
Stenberg attributes the increase to a successful robocall campaign in September, a large volume of claims filed at outreach events including the Nebraska State Fair, and continued efforts to promote awareness of the unclaimed property program through outreach events, social media, and the traditional news media.
Unclaimed property consists of cash and other personal assets that are considered lost or abandoned after an owner cannot be located for a specified period of time. The property is turned over to the state by banks, insurance companies, merchants, and other businesses. The most common types of unclaimed property are certificates of deposit, checking and savings accounts, commissions, contents of safe deposit boxes, death benefits, dividends, gift certificates, insurance payments, money orders, paid-up life insurance, refunds, stocks, uncashed checks, and unpaid wages.
Ways to search for unclaimed property:
Check the Nebraska State Treasurer’s website. Click the link in the sidebar. Type a name in the box on the home page, or click on the Search for Unclaimed Property tab in the left navigation pane. For amounts under $300, owners may be able to file their claims online through the website.
Call the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-877-572-9688 toll free or 402-471-8497 in Lincoln between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays
Visit the Unclaimed Property office at 809 P Street in Lincoln or in the Treasurer’s Office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your driver’s license and Social Security card as well as documentation if filing on behalf of a business or a deceased family member.
Stop by the Unclaimed Property booth at the next outreach event, the Northeast Nebraska Farm Show, Jan. 16-17, in Norfolk.