Oregon unclaimed property over half billion

cash-moneyOregon State Treasurer News Release,

Oregon safekeeping a record $564 million in unclaimed property, and Treasurer urges rightful owners to retrieve it

​SALEM – More than a half-billion dollars. That’s how much Oregon is now safekeeping in unclaimed assets that have been turned over to the state, and that has not yet been claimed by and returned to its rightful owners. Some of that $564 million could belong to you – or your family members or business — and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is urging Oregonians to find out.

“My message to Oregonians is simple: Come and get it. This money could belong to you,” said Treasurer Wheeler. “The state is safekeeping these assets on behalf of rightful owners, and I want to see more going to Oregon families that it belongs to.”

The Treasurer’s priorities include keeping public funds safe and strengthening the financial security of Oregon families.

Oregon maintains a free database website that allows anyone to determine whether he or she has unclaimed assets. The search form can be found at https://oregonup.us/upweb/up/up_search.asp.

The Treasurer also says Oregonians should avoid so-called “finders” who will charge to search for assets that belong to you – something that can be done for free. In addition, it is free to retrieve your assets.

The Oregon unclaimed property fund is maintained by the Department of State Lands, which is overseen by the State Land Board, made up of the governor, state treasurer and secretary of state. In addition to managing the claims process, the agency also conducts searches for owners of unclaimed funds for amounts over $500.

Until reunited with owners, unclaimed money is held in trust in the Common School Fund, managed by the State Treasury. The fund’s interest earnings benefit K-12 public schools through biannual distributions to Oregon school districts.

Under state law, financial institutions and companies transfer unclaimed assets to the state. Unclaimed property is mostly lost financial assets, such as bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, stocks, bonds, and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. In recent years, the fund has received significant increases in life insurance policy proceeds. Since July 2015, more than $1 million has been paid out to beneficiaries of deceased policy holders.

Each year, about twice as much money is declared unclaimed, compared to how much is retrieved. In fiscal year 2015, the state fund grew by $52.2 million and paid out $22.5 million, representing 18,833 claims.

Some unclaimed property is coins and jewelry from safe deposit boxes. The Department of State Lands has scheduled a public auction in Grants Pass May 13-14, with the proceeds deposited into the unclaimed property fund on behalf of the owners of those abandoned safe deposit boxes.

The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices. You can track news about the Oregon State Treasury on Twitter at @OregonTreasury.

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