[R76] Rep. McNamara: Finding a Hidden Treasure (9/18/2012 - 9/19/2012)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Start Date: 9/18/2012 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/19/2012 End Time: 11:59 PM
Finding a Hidden Treasure

There might be hundreds of dollars waiting for you in unclaimed property. There is more than $350 million in unclaimed property, belonging to current and former residents of Indiana. This money could be from dormant bank accounts, lost or forgotten un-cashed checks, stocks or bonds, dividends and bond interest, insurance proceeds, utility refunds and/or safe deposit boxes; all waiting for its rightful owner to step forth. 

Project Reunite, an outreach program launched by Attorney General Greg Zoeller, has been established to return lost/unclaimed money back to Hoosiers. Countless Hoosiers have already been helped. At the State Fair last month, the Unclaimed Property booth helped return over $75,000 to visitors!

Each year, millions of dollars in assets are turned over to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General as unclaimed property. It is important to note that unwanted property is not the same as unclaimed property. Items that are not considered unclaimed property include abandoned vehicles, real estate, furniture and stolen property. It is a common misconception that vacant houses are listed as unclaimed property when, in fact, tangible items are rarely included in unclaimed property. Those that are included usually consist of small items, such as coins or jewelry that can fit inside a safe deposit box.

How does property become unclaimed? Indiana law states that property is considered "unclaimed" when the holder of the asset, after a legally specified period, is unable to find or contact the owner. Business entities are required by law to review their records each year to determine whether they are in possession of any abandoned funds, securities or other property that is reportable, and to prepare an annual report of abandoned property.

To see if you have some unclaimed property waiting for you, please visit www.IndianaUnclaimed.com. Once you are at the website, follow these six simple steps:

  • Enter your name or the name of a friend or family member in the search field
  • Place a check mark in the box next to the property you want to claim
  • Complete the claim form and verify your information by clicking “approve” 
  • Print a copy of your completed claim form, sign it and gather all of the required documentation
  • Drop your completed claim form along with the required documentation in the mail
  • Allow the Attorney General’s office 90 days to review your claim. If your claim is approved, a check will be sent in the mail. 
Constituents without computer access can call 1-866-IN-CLAIM (1-866-462-5246) to file a claim.

If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to give me a call at (317) 232-9671 or email me at h76@in.gov. I hope this helps you find a hidden or forgotten treasure!

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Guest column is published in the Posey County News.