Utah state Treasurer David Damschen announced that the Utah Unclaimed Property Division received $52.1 million in lost property at the end of 2020.
A Utah Treasurer’s Office news release reported that the lost property comes from sources like dormant bank accounts, overpaid medical bills, uncashed checks, safe deposit box contents and unpaid insurance benefits.
Damschen said the treasurer’s office receives between $30 million and $60 million in new unclaimed property each year.
According to the news release, unclaimed property is usually money. However, the division also regularly receives items from abandoned safe deposit boxes that can be claimed. Some items the division is working to reunite with rightful owners include coins, baseball cards, art and photographs.
When a business owes money to an individual it can’t find, the business remits those funds to the state after three years. Property holders turned over 449,998 new properties to the division by the Nov. 1 annual reporting deadline, along with the names and last-known addresses of owners.
“There are many ways to lose track of property,” Utah Unclaimed Property Division Administrator Dennis Johnston said. “People might move and forget they had a deposit with the utility company, or they might be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy they didn’t know existed.”
Damschen encouraged Utahns to check mycash.utah.gov at least once a year to see if they have lost property to claim. “Even if you have searched our online database for unclaimed property in the past, check again. We might have received additional properties since you last visited our website,” Damschen said.
The division makes unclaimed property payouts to rightful owners through outreach campaigns, technology and partnerships with charities, local government leaders and the news media.
“We have achieved a 19% average annual increase in the value of properties paid to rightful owners during the past 10 years with methods that are both high-tech and high-touch,” Damschen said. “We utilize claims processing technology and digital advertising to reach the greatest number of unclaimed property owners, while also implementing more personalized outreach and locating efforts to identify owners who might otherwise be missed.”
In 2020, the division returned a record-breaking $40.6 million in lost cash, stock and other properties to individuals, businesses and charitable organizations.
Utahns can search for unclaimed property by visiting mycash.utah.gov or calling 801-715-3300.