Generally, unclaimed property is money or assets that their owners haven’t accessed for a designated period. These include uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, security deposits, tax refunds, investment funds, credit balances, and payroll checks. Those who own such property can make a claim with the state. The amount of unclaimed property varies by state, but it is estimated that Oregon has over $1 billion in unclaimed money. Typically, the state will hold onto these funds until the rightful owner submits a claim. During this time, the government will continue to do its best to identify and locate the rightful owner.
Individuals can search for unclaimed money by visiting the State Treasury’s website or using a third-party search engine. These sites are usually easy to use and provide fast results that aren’t limited by geography. Alternatively, people can contact the state directly to request their money be repaid. The process varies by state, but most requests take less than 120 days to be processed. Some states have special programs for veterans that can speed up the process.
How Do I Claim Abandoned Land in Oregon?
If you have an interest in a piece of land that appears to be abandoned, you can make a claim with the Oregon unclaimed property department. You must provide documentation proving your identity and that you have a rightful claim to the property. You may also need to pay a fee. However, it is important to note that the fee is a service charge, not an attempt to steal your property.
In addition to unclaimed property, the state also has other assets in trust, including money deposited into a closed account, such as a retirement account, or money paid into a trust fund and never claimed. The state is required to return this property to its rightful owner.
Many Oregonians own property and may be concerned that neighbors or even trespassers can gain legal title to portions of their land over time. Fortunately, Oregon has laws protecting property owners from this situation. These laws are called adverse possession and homestead protection.
Checks Without Claims Program
- Oregon’s Checks Without Claims program is an annual initiative by the state’s Unclaimed Property Program to proactively reunite Oregonians with their unclaimed funds. Instead of waiting for individuals to claim their unclaimed property, the program actively searches for eligible recipients and sends them checks directly. In 2023, the “Checks Without Claims” initiative successfully returned nearly $10 million in unclaimed funds to over 18,000 individuals. The program typically runs in three phases during the year’s first half.
Benefits of the program
- Oregonians can claim their unclaimed property for free through the state’s online portal or by mail.
- By proactively returning funds, the program helps clear up the unclaimed property database, making it easier to manage and find assets for future owners.
- By returning unclaimed property to rightful owners, the program avoids the costs associated with holding and managing the assets for extended periods.