State treasuries get information for unclaimed cash searches from various resources, including utility companies, banks and other businesses, that turn over forgotten property to state officials, explains USA Today. This property includes such items as certificate of deposits, uncashed paychecks and safe-deposit box contents, and states have laws to safeguard the unclaimed property that require its return. The exact way a state treasury obtains this information depends on the location of the state treasury, its procedure and the property type.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators reports that individuals making claims in 2011 in the United States averaged $892 per claim and totaled more than $2 billion that year, according to USA Today. If the institution or company turns the money over to the state after failing to find the rightful owner, many states hold the funds until the owner claims it. However, if the property is left unclaimed, many states take the resource.
As of 2015, if financial institutions or entities have unclaimed or abandoned intangible property that is inactive for one to five years, Florida law requires the organization to report these holdings to the state, notes the Florida Department of Financial Services. While the state holds the unclaimed property, it deposits the funds into the state’s school fund to help support public schools. Rightful claimants still can claim to receive the original amount.
The New York’s state treasury obtains information for unclaimed cash search from insurance companies, courts and other organizations, reports the New York State Office of the State Comptroller. These unclaimed cash properties include estate proceeds, court funds, telephone deposits and dividends.