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Oregonians misplace $400 Million — state trying to give it back

June 24, 2011

New online process offers easy search
By Oregon Department of State Lands

Salem – More than two million individuals, businesses and organizations have lost track of money – a lot of it. Nearly $400 million is available for claim by the owners or their heirs, and it just got easier to find. Oregon’s Department of State Lands (DSL) houses the state’s Unclaimed Property Program, and has recently launched an online claim service to make it easier and faster for citizens to search for and claim their lost money.

Could you have misplaced a check or lost track of a bank account? If so, your money may be waiting for you to claim. Simply check for your name on the unclaimed property website: https://oregonup.us.

The new service also includes details on each listing, and a tracking feature to help claimants monitor the status of their claim.

“It’s so easy now to search for your name, and with two million owners reported, there is a high likelihood of finding money due to you or a relative,” said the program’s manager, Patrick Tate. While a few large amounts are reported, most are between $50 and $500, said Tate.

Reported assets include inactive bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, refunds and payroll checks. Businesses and organizations are required by law to send all unclaimed assets to DSL after a specific period of time – generally three years – and after trying to find owners. Once reported, there is no time limit for the owner to file their claim.

Unclaimed property is held for claim by owners in the Common School Fund, a trust fund established at statehood to benefit Oregon’s public schools, and administered by DSL. Earnings from the fund are distributed twice a year by the Oregon Department of Education; in 2010, $50.5 million was sent to Oregon’s 197 public school districts.

In 2010, DSL returned $18 million to owners. Check for your name today, and check back often, as new information is added to the website regularly.

The State Land Board consists of Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will and heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.

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Discuss this article

Jeremy June 24, 2011

That is nearly a half billion dollars!

Ashland June 24, 2011

Gov’t always has a surplus

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