Lincoln, Neb. – The 2018 Unclaimed Property Annual Report will be published in 16 Nebraska newspapers in the coming weeks, as required by state law, beginning March 4 in the Omaha World-Herald and the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
Stenberg said the 40-page tabloid includes 30,865 names that were turned over to the Treasurer’s Office in 2017. The pages of names include individuals, businesses, organizations, institutions, schools and colleges, and governmental entities.
“I want to emphasize the tabloid contains only new properties turned over to the Treasurer’s Office in 2017 by banks, insurance companies, and other holders and is only a small portion of the total 350,000 names in the Treasurer’s unclaimed property database,” Stenberg said. “By law, we are required to publish these names in newspapers across the state and to send follow-up letters to the last known addresses of the owners. These efforts, along with our outreach booth at the Nebraska State Fair, account for the largest number of filed and approved claims each year.”
In 2017, the Unclaimed Property Division of the Treasurer’s Office returned more than $15.3 million to owners, the second largest amount returned in one year in the history of the program. In 2016, the Treasurer’s Office returned $16.3 million to owners, setting a record for the program. In 2017, a total of 16,748 claims were paid for an average of $914 a claim.
“As in the past, this year’s tabloid features stories of five families and one organization that received unclaimed property from the Treasurer’s Office last year. We thank the people for sharing their stories, which encourages others to contact our office and to realize that the process is pretty simple and the rewards can be great,” Stenberg said.
Stenberg also praised his staff. “I appreciate the staff’s continued hard work and diligence in locating hard-to-find owners who are oftentimes scattered across the United States and abroad and the staff’s friendly assistance to people who visit our office. Many times, the owner information we receive is out-of-date or inaccurate, and we depend on a variety of research tools and contacts to find and document proper owners,” he said.
“As more Nebraska companies engage in global business and as more international students attend Nebraska colleges and sometimes relocate here for a while, the unclaimed property staff is now searching for owners not only from across the United States, but also internationally,” Stenberg said. In 2017, the Treasurer’s Office paid claims to owners throughout the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, Gambia, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, and Switzerland.
Other interesting facts from 2017 include the following:
- The largest claim paid was $341,364 to an Omaha estate.
- Seventeen claims paid in 2017 exceeded $100,000 each; 28 claims ranged between $50,000 and $99,999,
- The most voluminous claim paid totaled 35 pages and included 231 properties for a descendant of a Nemaha County pioneer family.
- Among the owners claiming property in 2017 was television personality Dick Cavett, who received $682 from his parents’ estate.
- Altogether, the Treasurer’s Office is holding more than $170 million in unclaimed funds for more than 350,000 owners.
- There is never a charge for searching or filing a claim with the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division.
Stenberg reminded owners that they may search for unclaimed property online at treasurer.nebraska.gov. In instances in which property is $500 or less, owners may file claims online through the Treasurer’s website. Common forms of unclaimed property are uncashed paychecks, refunds, rental deposits, utility deposits, stocks, dividends, insurance payments, savings bonds, matured CDs, and lost IRAs.
- Check the Nebraska State Treasurer’s website at treasurer.nebraska.gov. Type a name in the search box on the home page or click on the Unclaimed Property tab at the top of the page.
- For an amount less than $500, an owner may file a claim online through the website, with required information.
- For an amount greater than $500, an owner may complete the claim form found on the website and in the tabloid and mail to the State Treasurer’s Office, Unclaimed Property Division, 809 P St., Lincoln, NE 68508-1390. The form must be notarized.
- Call the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-877-572-9688 toll free outside of Lincoln or 402-471-8497 in Lincoln. Calls are taken 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, weekdays.
- Visit the Unclaimed Property office at 809 P Street in Lincoln or in the Treasurer’s Office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol. Hours at both locations are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An owner should bring a driver’s license and Social Security card.
- If filing on behalf of a deceased family member for an amount greater than $500, the owner must provide documentation to establish legal authority to file the claim including a will, death certificate, obituary notice, and personal representative documents.