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 Team 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. Every year the UPA also publishes a statewide newspaper advertisement of newly received abandoned property.
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 UPA visit your event, please contact UPA Outreach Coordinator Lori Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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?The New Jersey Unclaimed Property Statute dictates what information is considered confidential. The Statute only designates 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 claim submission process on the website 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 Unclaimed Property Administration's Claims Unit to do a final review for your claim's approval. You may check the status of your claim at any time by simply entering your claim id.
How do I prove ownership of the property I'm claiming?
After a claim is submitted the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) will issue an email that details the property you're claiming and provides a listing of any documentation needed to prove ownership. Simply upload the requested documentation to prove your ownership of the property. If after submitting your claim you are not requested to provide documents to prove ownership it is likely that your claim was pre-approved based on the information you provided and the property you are 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 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 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 Unclaimed Property Administration (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 and/or a friend of mine told me they saw my name in an Unclaimed Property newspaper advertisement. What should 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 form?
The UPA pays interest on property. The difference between your check amount and the sum of properties listed in your correspondence is the interest your property earned while being held by the UPA.
I checked my claim status on the website and it says my claim has been paid but I haven't received it yet. Can I get a new one issued?
Not yet. Provided the Unclaimed Property Administration issued the original check to the correct address, you must wait at least 30 days from the date the check was issued before a new check request can be processed.
I'm submitting a claim on property where I am not the listed property owner. What social security number (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. Be sure to also select the appropriate claimant type (heir, owner, legal representative, etc.).
I have all my documentation ready. Can I come into the Unclaimed Property office and get a check?
No, the UPA is not open to the public. Furthermore, checks are not produced in our office so we DO NOT have the ability to 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:
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 date is the 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. It can take up to 3 months to get all incoming properties loaded into our system.
I received my 'Due Diligence' letter months ago, it is now after the reporting deadline (October 31st), 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 can take up to 3 months to get these properties added to the property search site. If you experience an issue locating your property on our online property search, please complete a Search Request submission. Be sure to include any details regarding the property and what company reported the property.
What is a finder/locator? Should I pay one?
An heir finder/locator is an individual or business who charges a fee of up to 20% of the property value, to act as an agent in recovering lost or abandoned funds to New Jersey. The Unclaimed Property Administration never charges a fee to search and claim your unclaimed property.