The New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) is currently advertising a list of all unclaimed assets reported to the State in the previous year, with the goal of notifying rightful owners that they may have money or property to be claimed.
A total of 236,845 records that were reported to the State in the past year are being advertised. Residents can look in their local newspapers, by county, at the list of names of newly reported property holders.
Unclaimed property is a mechanism for the State of New Jersey to safeguard property that has been abandoned or lost for three years. It can include bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance payouts, and even real physical property.
If a person finds their name or their business’s name in the advertisements, running over the course of two weeks, they can go to the Unclaimed Property Administration’s website to submit a claim and search for other unclaimed property in their name. Searching and filing claims on the UPA’s website is always free of charge. Currently, there is more than $6 billion in unclaimed property being safeguarded by the State.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
While certain third-party companies will charge a fee to connect individuals with their assets, there is never a charge for searching UPA’s database or for claiming property on the State’s secure website. Once approved, the asset is returned to its rightful owner with interest.
Anyone can search for their name on https://www.unclaimedproperty.nj.gov/ or http://www.unclaimed.org/ for free to determine if a state is holding their property. Individuals are encouraged to search their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit.