Utah State Treasurer David Damschen encourages Utah residents and business owners to search mycash.utah.gov for unclaimed property during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Unclaimed Property Division of the Office of State Treasurer is safeguarding more than $370 million in lost money. Each year, the division reunites tens of millions of dollars of property with rightful owners, including a record $29.3 million in FY2019. More than $10.9 million of the FY2019 total was paid out to businesses. On average, more than one-third of the dollars paid out each year go to businesses.
“This money has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of Utahns during these challenging times. We encourage every Utahn to search the state website for lost money, including money that might belong to your business,” Treasurer Damschen said. “One in five Utahns has lost money, so the odds are high that you or somebody you know has money waiting to be claimed.”
When a business owes money to an individual or business it cannot find, it remits those funds to the state’s Unclaimed Property Division after three years of non-contact with the owner. Property holders remitted 380,221 new properties totaling $56.4 million to the Unclaimed Property Division in 2019, along with the names and last-known addresses of owners.
“There are many ways to lose track of property. 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,” Unclaimed Property Division Administrator Dennis Johnston said. “Money owed to businesses becomes lost for many of the same reasons. The business might have changed addresses, was acquired, merged, or divested, or a payment to the business failed to be received for a variety of reasons.”
Unclaimed property is usually money, but the Unclaimed Property Division also regularly receives items from abandoned safe deposit boxes that can be claimed. The division has a vault containing interesting items like coins, baseball cards, art and photographs. These items are periodically sold via auction, and the proceeds remain available to be claimed by the rightful owner.
Individuals may submit a claim for properties of deceased relatives if they can prove they are the rightful heir. In cases where there is more than one heir, they can claim their portion of the property. Sometimes money is lost due to a misspelled name, so search for varied spellings of your name.
For more information and to search property, visit mycash.utah.gov or call 801-715-3300.