From forgotten bank accounts and security deposits to uncashed checks, and even physical property, residents are leaving money behind for the State of New Jersey to babysit.
These unclaimed assets — 236,845 records were submitted in New Jersey last year — have been abandoned or lost for three years or longer and turned over to the The New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) for safekeeping.
“We want people to know as soon as possible when a lost or forgotten property of theirs is reported to UPA,” said Unclaimed Property Administrator Steve Harris.
“Returning valuables to the rightful owners is a rewarding mission. We encourage every New Jerseyan to complete the free search on our website. Our staff stands ready to help them claim any assets they may be entitled to,” Harris added.
Residents can search online for free
“The Unclaimed Property Administration has done a tremendous job reconnecting New Jerseyans with their property and getting the word out about how easy it is to do the free search on their website,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.
“I’ve witnessed in person the excitement and surprise when UPA tells someone about property being held for them, and I hope many more New Jerseyans get a similar thrill when they see their name on this year’s list,” Maher Muoio added.
1 in every 10 Americans have unclaimed assets
Nearly 33 million people in the United States – 1 in every 10 – has unclaimed property: financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years.
When that happens, and the company cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, and unused rebate cards.
$200M Returned FY23
The annual publication of new unclaimed asset records follows the announcement of a record-breaking year of returning property to rightful owners in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, when UPA returned $202.95 million in assets to rightful owners, the result of 73,686 claims filed with the agency.
Local and County Involvment
UPA also expanded its campaign earlier this year by proactively contacting the 350 municipal and county governments which currently have unclaimed property being safeguarded by the State. So far, more than $2.2 million has been claimed by 203 different local government organizations.