Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale was scheduled to stop by the state treasurer’s office at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, to pick up a check for $50 that the state treasurer received from First Westroads Bank of Omaha as unclaimed property.
The property, a cashier’s check written on First Westroads Bank in 2002, was turned over to the state in 2010.
Businesses that are holding property belonging to a person who cannot be located are required by state law to turn over the property to the state treasurer who then attempts to locate the owner of the property.
“If we are receiving unclaimed property belonging to the Secretary of State, as well-known and visible as he is, we might have yours, too,” Stenberg said, urging Nebraskans to visit the Unclaimed Property booth at the upcoming Nebraska State Fair and Husker Harvest Days. “This just shows that a business you once did business with–and that has some property belonging to you–may not be able to find you, even if you are well-known in your community. That’s what we are here for,” Stenberg said.
Unclaimed Property Division specialists will be in the Exhibitor Building at the State Fair in Grand Island from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3 to help visitors search for their property and document claims. Specialists also will be at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island Sept. 10 through 12 in a booth in the Diversified Industries Building.
In all, the state treasurer is holding more than $100 million in unclaimed property for more than 350,000 Nebraskans or former Nebraskans. That means Nebraskans have a one in five chance of finding unclaimed property in their names, Stenberg said. More than 14,600 claims, totaling more than $10.3 million, were paid out in 2011.
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 of Nebraska by banks, insurance companies, merchants, and other businesses.
Among the most common forms of unclaimed property are dividends, dormant accounts, gift certificates, insurance payments, matured CDs, lost IRAs, wages, rebates, stock and mutual funds, utility deposits, and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Unclaimed property does not include land, real estate, vehicles, or tax refunds.
Unclaimed property is held by the treasurer’s office until an owner or heir can be documented; the property is held indefinitely if no owner or heir can be located.
In addition to searching for unclaimed property at outreach events, Nebraskans and former Nebraskans can search for unclaimed property using the following methods:
• Check the Nebraska State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org. 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 outside of Lincoln or 402-471-8497 in Lincoln. Phone calls are taken between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays
• File a claim in person by visiting the Unclaimed Property office at 809 P Street in Lincoln or in the State Treasurer’s Office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol. Bring your driver’s license and Social Security card as well as documentation if filing on behalf of a business or deceased family member.