(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Administration returned a record $163 million in assets to rightful owners in Fiscal Year 2022, which concluded at the end of June. More than 200,000 new assets were reported to the State this year alone that are now waiting to be returned to the public.
“Returning valuables to the rightful owners is always a rewarding mission, but in times of financial uncertainty, our mission is essential. 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,” said Unclaimed Property Administrator Steve Harris.
Nearly 33 million people in the United States – 1 in every 10 – has unclaimed property such as 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 property is submitted to the State. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, and unused rebate cards.
“Our Unclaimed Property Administration does a tremendous job conducting outreach all year long to make residents aware of this state service that is absolutely free to them,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “We encourage New Jerseyans wishing to avoid fees charged by others for this service to take advantage of our free, easy-to-use website and reconnect with their unclaimed assets.”
Every year the Unclaimed Property Administration publishes in newspapers around New Jersey a list of all of the assets reported to the State in the previous year to let the rightful owners know they may have money or property they can claim. This year’s list, which ran last week, surpasses 224,000 names and businesses, up from 153,000 in Fiscal Year 2021 when UPA returned $139 million in assets to rightful owners. In total, UPA is currently safeguarding assets worth a combined $5.9 billion that are currently waiting to be claimed.
This year, the list of newly added properties is available by county on the Unclaimed Property Administration’s website. 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.