What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property consists of many types of intangible and tangible properties that have remained unclaimed by its rightful owner for a specific period of time. The abandonment period for each type of property is defined by New Jersey's Unclaimed Property Statute.
Why is property turned over to the State Treasury?
Unclaimed Property statutes were established to protect property owners from businesses, banks, and other financial institutions taking ownership of stale property in the owner’s name.
How does property become unclaimed?
It is common that in the normal course of business that individuals or businesses lose track of either checks that were issued to them or bank holdings. State Unclaimed Property laws define abandonment periods for these different types of property. Once property reaches the defined abandonment period with no activity the Holder of this property will turn the property over to the State.
Does the State ever seize or take ownership of property that goes unclaimed?
No, after property is escheated to the State the reported property owner never relinquishes ownership. If property is not claimed it remains in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund in perpetuity or until a valid claim is submitted and processed.
What effort does the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) make to locate property owners?
The UPA has an Outreach section whose entire purpose is reuniting abandoned property with their owners through various outreach initiatives. These initiatives include mass mailings, media campaigns, and their presence at state fairs, community centers, and other public locations throughout the year. The UPA also advertises newly abandoned property in newspapers throughout the state twice a year and subscribes a searchable web application that accepts online claim submissions, missingmoney.com.
How can an organization request the UPA Outreach team attend their event (Fair, public conference, etc.)?
If your organization is interested in having personnel from the Unclaimed Property Administration visit your event, please contact UPA Outreach Coordinator Lori Jones at email@example.com.
How do I acquire a list of all the unclaimed property the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) is currently holding?
Any data requests must be submitted through the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). An OPRA request can be filed through the state’s OPRA web site. It should be noted that per State Statute (N.J.S.A. 46:30B-76.1) the UPA is only permitted to release the name and reported address of property owners.
Is my unclaimed property taxable? Will I need to report it on my tax returns?
Unclaimed property is property that already belongs to you. The State was simply safeguarding it until it could be returned to you. Therefore, unclaimed property is not actually income so it is not taxable. The UPA does however pay interest on the unclaimed property from the time it is received until the time it is returned. If this amount of interest is greater than $10 you will receive and 1099–INT in January covering this earned interest. For interest tax reporting questions relating to the 1099–INT, please consult a tax professional.
How do I find out if I have any unclaimed property being held by the State of New Jersey?
A search can be completed by going to our Search for Unclaimed Property page and following the instructions for locating property and submitting a claim.
Is the web site missingmoney.com legitimate?
Yes! The State of New Jersey’s Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) works securely with missingmoney.com on a daily basis to help reunite property owners with lost or abandoned property. Please have complete confidence when searching for property and when providing the personal information needed to submit a claim. The UPA is NOT affiliated with any other web site.
How do I determine if the property I located on the search application belongs to me?
If the property you located on our property search tool lists an address that was a previous residence of yours then it is likely property belonging to you. If the address listed is not one of your previous addresses then it likely does not belong to you. When submitting a claim on property that was a previous address you will possibly be required to provide proof you resided at the address.
While searching for property in other States I noticed some States provide the name of the company who escheated the funds and a dollar range. Why doesn’t New Jersey provide this information?
New Jersey State Unclaimed Property Statute dictates what information is considered confidential. NJ statutes only list the name and address of property owners as public information.
Can I claim property on behalf of someone else?
The only situation where someone can file a claim on property that is not in their name is when the claimant has the legal right to do so. Examples include someone who is the executor or executrix of an estate, someone holding a Power of Attorney over the property owner, or someone who has a ‘letter of guardianship’ for the property owner.
I located property on your Property Search application that I want to submit a claim on, how do I do this?
Simply follow the 4-step process after the search is completed to submit your claim.
After I submit a claim what is the next step in the process?
If you submitted your claim through our “Search for Unclaimed Property” link, the application should have indicated your next step. If you were provided a claim form that detailed the property we’re holding and the documentation needed simply follow the instructions that were provided in the form. If after submitting your claim you were advised that nothing further was needed you need to allow some time for the UPA Claims department to do a final review for your claim’s approval. Claim status updates are available by logging into the Claim Account you created when you submitted your claim.
How do I prove ownership of the property I’m claiming?
After a claim is submitted we review the information you provided and the property you’re claiming. If documentation to prove ownership is needed the UPA issues a claim form/packet detailing the property we’re holding and the documentation needed to prove ownership. If after submitting your claim you are not being requested to provide documents to prove ownership it is likely your claim was pre-approved based on the information you provided and the property you’re claiming.
Why is my social security number requested as part of the claim process?
The claimant’s SSN is required for two reasons. First, the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) uses a claimant’s SSN to help determine if the claimant is the rightful owner of the property. Second, the UPA pays interest on all resulting claims. The interest we pay is reportable to the IRS as interest income therefore we issue IRS 1099–INT forms to all claimants with greater than $10 in earned interest.
Does the State pay interest when reuniting property with its rightful owner?
Yes! Interest is calculated starting from the date the property was escheated to the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) and ending on the date the UPA approves the return of the property to the rightful owner(s).
How does interest get calculated?
Interest is calculated starting from the date the property was escheated to the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) and ending on the date the UPA approves the return of the property to the rightful owner(s). The interest rate the UPA applies to calculate interest is derived from the NJ Division of Investment’s ‘Rate of Return’ schedule.
I received a 1099–INT form. What is this for and what should I do with it?
Every January the UPA issues 1099–INT forms to claimants who had a claim processed on unclaimed property. These forms provide claimants with the total amount of interest their unclaimed property earned while being safeguarded by the State. The UPA only issues these forms if the amount of interest earned is greater than $10.00. For tax reporting questions relating to the 1099–INT, please consult a tax professional.
I received a 1099–B Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions form. What is this for and what should I do with it?
Every January the UPA issues 1099–B forms. These forms provide claimants with the stock proceed amounts relating to the shares that where safeguarded by the State. You may receive multiple 1099–B forms from one claim if that claim contained separate batches of shares. For tax reporting questions relating to the 1099–B, please consult a tax professional.
I read my name in an Unclaimed Property newspaper advertisement. What should I do?
If you saw your name in one of our semi-annual newspaper advertisements you should follow the guidance provided at the end of the advertisement.
A friend of mine told me they saw my name in a newspaper advertisement for Unclaimed Property in New Jersey. What do I do?
If your name was in one of our newspaper advertisements you can go to ‘Search for Unclaimed Property’ page and search using either the Property ID# in the advertisement or the exact spelling of the name that was listed in the newspaper. Once you locate the property you can file a claim electronically through the search application.
Why is the amount on my check different from the property value on my letter/claim packet?
The Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) pays interest on property. The difference between your check amount and the amount listed in the letter or claim packet is the interest your property earned while in the UPA’s safekeeping.
I checked my claim status on the website and it says my check was issued 2 weeks ago but I haven’t received it yet. Can I get a new one issued?
Not yet. Provided the UPA issued the original check to the correct address, you must wait at least 30 days from the date provided on the website before a new check request can be processed.
I’m submitting a claim on property where I am not the listed property owner. What SSN should I provide when filing the claim submission?
When submitting a claim on property where the listed property owner is not you, you should provide the property owner’s SSN/FEIN. Be sure to also select the appropriate claimant type (executor, guardian, heir, etc.).
I previously filed a claim through your website and the property is no longer listed when I do another search, why?
We remove property records from their web site after a claim is submitted in an attempt to eliminate duplicate claim submissions. Duplicates can result in longer claim processing times.
I have all my paperwork ready. Can I come into the Unclaimed Property office and get a check?
No, the Unclaimed Property office is not open to the public. Furthermore, checks are not produced in our office so we DO NOT have the ability to cut and issue checks.
The UPA sold my shares after they were turned over to the State. How can you do this?
Below is the statutory reference to escheated securities:
Securities to be held one year before sale; rights of claimant if securities sold before or after end of one-year period. Unless the administrator considers it to be in the best interest of the State to do otherwise, all securities presumed abandoned under Article 10 of this chapter and delivered to the administrator shall be held for one year before the administrator may sell them. If the administrator sells any securities delivered pursuant to Article 10 of this chapter before the expiration of the one-year period, any person making a claim pursuant to this chapter before the end of the one-year period is entitled to either the proceeds of the sale of the securities or the market value of the securities at the time the claim is made, whichever amount is greater, less any deduction for fees pursuant to R.S.46:30B-75. If the value of the securities is less than the cost of re-registration, then the owner shall have the option to pay the re-registration fee and receive the security or be paid the present value of the security. A person making a claim under this chapter after the expiration of this period is entitled to receive either the securities delivered to the administrator by the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the administrator, or the proceeds received from sale, less any amounts deducted pursuant to R.S.46:30B-75, but no person has any claim under this chapter against the State, the holder, any transfer agent, registrar, or other person acting for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the administrator.
L.1989, c.58, s.1; amended 2002, c.35, s.47.
I elected to have my shares re-registered during the claim process. What is the normal time frame to receive this information from the Transfer Agent?
Contact from the Transfer Agent regarding the status and location of your re-registered shares depends on the frequency that the Transfer Agent releases this information (Quarterly, Monthly, etc.). Please note that you retained ownership that date your claim was ‘paid’ by the UPA. This means that any dividends or corporate actions after this date will be reflected on your account.
I received a letter from a financial institution that stated my property was escheated to New Jersey as of a certain date. I went to your search site and I can’t locate any property?
When a ‘due diligence’ letter is issued by a financial institution and the letter provides a date that the recipient has to respond by, that date is NOT the date the funds are escheated to New Jersey. The reporting deadline for personal property is October 31st covering the previous reporting cycle (July 1st through June 30th). Therefore most property is not received until on or around that deadline. Please contact the financial institution for this property if it is before the deadline. If it is now after the reporting deadline and you can’t locate the property on our search site you may simply need to allow more time. We receive approximately a million properties every reporting cycle and it can take up to 3 months to get all of these loaded into our system.
I received my ‘Due Diligence’ letter months ago, it is now after the reporting deadline, and my property is still not showing up in your property search application. What should I do?
Due to the high volume of property received around the reporting deadline it does take some time to get these properties added to the property search site. To help expedite your claim process you can complete a ‘Claim Inquiry Form’ and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include a copy of the due diligence letter showing the details of the property and what company reported the property.
Please mail this information to:State of New Jersey
Physical (courier):State of New Jersey
What is an heir finder/locator? Should I pay one?
An heir finder/locator is an individual or business who acts as an agent in recovering lost or abandoned funds to New Jersey. Please review state statute N.J.S.A. 46:30B-106 or consult an attorney for further guidance. Once property is escheated to New Jersey the UPA charges no fees for the processing and recovering of property.