Hundreds of millions of dollars unclaimed. Is it yours?
Mon, 07 Nov 2011 10:00:00 GMT —
The State of Michigan has hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and property that belongs to you.
It's called "unclaimed property."
It includes uncashed payroll checks, inactive stocks, and accounts that for some reason have not made their way to you.
It's a centralized "lost and found" program.
Last year, it returned nearly $70-million to its rightful owners.
By law, the Michigan Treasury Department has to hold property that is unclaimed.
With an internet connection, you can find out if you or anyone you know is entitled to it.
"I was surprised. I'm still surprised," says Vienna Township's Dorothy Mihailuk.
Her husband John passed away nearly five years ago, but he left something behind that she's entitled to.
"I haven't heard anything about that at all."
She didn't know about it until NBC25 found her on the Michigan Treasury website.
There's money in her late husband's name through Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company that belongs to her.
She and her heirs have no time-limit to claim it.
Michigan Treasury spokesperson Terry Stanton says, "Any property, and/or the monetary value of the property, that the state is holding is always claimable. There is no statute of limitations on the items or the item's worth."
Within a few minutes, NBC25's Dan Armstrong found three of his relatives, several friends, and two co-workers on the list. None of them knew they were owed money.
Most of the items are checks from former jobs or policies, but that's not all.
"We've had bridal dresses. We've had silver bars, baseball cards, coins, watches, jewelry, a number of items that normally are found in safety deposit boxes," says Stanton.
The state takes claim of your property under two conditions:
1. If there has been no owner-generated activity for a specific amount of time
2. If attempts to contact you are unsuccessful, like if you moved and your forwarding address was not available.
Every item on the list is worth at least $50.
For Dorothy, she's glad NBC25 told her about the surprise from her late husband. "He probably didn't know anything about it himself because if there was money he would have looked into it," Dorothy says laughing.
The Michigan Treasury Department also encourages you to check other states where you used to live because they have unclaimed programs as well.
It's not limited to individuals. Former businesses and local governments are owed money as well.
To see if you are on the list, type your name into this link.
If you find a name that matches yours on the list, you can file an initial inquiry form with the required documentation and mail it to the treasury department.
You should receive an answer within 120 days.
For more information you can also call the treasury department at 517.636.5320 or e-mail treasUPD@michigan.gov