You could have unclaimed cash sitting in the hands of the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The Treasury has a website that tracks unclaimed property, adding up to millions of dollars in lost for forgotten assets from dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and stock certificates.
Because these properties were considered abandoned and unclaimed by the bank or company entrusted with them, they are turned over to the state, as required by law. The Michigan Department of Treasury is the custodian of these assets and returns them to their owners (or the owners’ heirs) when they are rightfully claimed.
To search the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property database, enter a name or business name and select “Search”. All properties containing this name will be included in the results. See the instructions on the Search for Unclaimed Property page for more information.
The Treasury says it has paid out more than $485 million over the last five years.
Some FAQ on unclaimed property here from the Treasury:
How can I prevent my property from being turned over to the state?
Below is a list of things that can be done to prevent your property from being turned over to the state:
- Keep all records accurate and current.
- Notify companies who are holders of your property whenever you move or change address.
- Keep accounts active by initiating activity on your account, not merely the accrual of interest.
- Cash all checks received.
- Notify a family member or another trusted person of the location of your financial records such as bank accounts and safe deposit boxes.
What will happen to my investment accounts if I do not maintain contact with my broker or the company in which my funds are invested?
After the dormancy period, your broker or the company in which your funds are invested are required to turn over your investment accounts to the State of Michigan where they will be liquidated upon receipt. The proceeds from the sale of your stock will be credited to an account in your name until you or your heirs submit a valid claim.
Does the State of Michigan auction off unclaimed property?
Yes, the State of Michigan periodically conducts auctions of items turned over to the Department. Auction proceeds are then held for the rightful owner or their heirs. Auctions typically include a variety of collectibles including jewelry, coins, stamps, and other items.
What assistance do I need to file a claim?
Unclaimed Property (UP) encourages owners to contact us directly to search for funds; there is no fee charged by the Department for this service. You may be contacted by a locator/heir finder to assist in your search, however, these third-party services will charge a fee.