SALT LAKE CITY – In 2016, $21.6 million was paid out by the state to owners of unclaimed property – from refund checks to closed checking accounts – and Monday, Utah State Treasurer David Damschen announced that the state’s Unclaimed Property Division received more than $33.1 million in new abandoned property at the end of 2016.
The new listings reflect 269,561 new properties with last known addresses and names of individuals whose abandoned properties were reported to Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division by the Nov. 1, 2016, annual reporting deadline.
“Each year after tax season we like to remind Utahns to check mycash.utah.gov to see whether they have lost or abandoned property – anything from dormant bank accounts to uncashed refund checks,” Damschen said. “I’m also proud to report that the Unclaimed Property Division paid out $21.6 million in FY 2016, which puts that money back into the pockets of rightful owners and can circulate back into the local economy.”
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 state. Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division currently safeguards over $370 million in unclaimed property.
“Even with aggressive education campaigns a barrier still remains – many people don’t go looking for property they don’t know they’ve lost – and that’s exactly what we need them to do,” said Dennis Johnston, administrator of Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division.
“Perhaps they’ve moved and forgotten 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.”
Damschen encouraged all Utahns to not only look up their own names but the names of people they know.
“Help get this abandoned money back into the hands of its rightful owners,” he said. “Seeing Utah citizens reunited with their lost property is one of the highlights of my job and I want to continue seeing record claim levels.”
The March 2015 launch of the new, simplified mycash.utah.gov website and aggressive education and outreach campaigns fueled a 107 percent increase in Utah’s paid claims. At the height of the campaign, monthly paid claim volume quadrupled from an average of 977 to over 4,000.
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