Unclaimed Property Program Proactively Returns Millions in Unclaimed Funds

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Typically, Oregonians can come to Oregon State Treasury’s Unclaimed Property website to search for and claim money or other unclaimed funds being safeguarded by the state.

This past year, Oregon State Treasury’s statewide program did things a little differently when they proactively returned more than $10 million in unclaimed funds to current and former Oregonians through our “Checks Without Claims” initiative.

As part of the yearlong effort, first announced in January by Treasurer Read, Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program identified and reconnected more than 18,000 individuals – from Oregon and from 47 other states – with their unclaimed funds over the course of three phases in 2023. “Checks Without Claims” would become the Unclaimed Property Program’s largest mass disbursement of funds in the program’s history.

Planning for the 2023 initiative began long before the first round of checks were mailed in February and involved support from multiple teams within Treasury, the state of Oregon, and Kelmar, the Unclaimed Property Program’s data management partner. Over the course of three phases, Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program was able to verify owners of unclaimed property reported to the state by organizations in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and return the funds back to individuals .

This was the first time the Unclaimed Property Program conducted the “Checks Without Claims” campaign since transitioning to Treasury in 2021. To see where funds were returned to in Oregon, check out this map:

Planning for next year’s “Checks Without Claims” campaign is underway, and the program expects to contact check recipients in early 2024 with more information.

Established in Oregon more than 60 years ago as a consumer protection effort, the Unclaimed Property Program has returned over $550 million to owners in the last 25 years!

Unclaimed property occurs when organizations that hold assets for someone else lose contact with owners. After 1 to 3 years pass with no contact from the owner, the holder of the asset will send the property to Treasury to hold in trust. Common examples of unclaimed property include undeposited checks, unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, overpayments, and unused rebate cards.

Once Treasury receives the funds, we make the basic details of each asset available on our website, Unclaimed.Oregon.Gov. That allows individuals to find lost assets and claim them. Once a claim is filed, program staff verify an individual’s connection to the property and approve the claim. Filing a claim is simple and free. People can file a claim electronically from their phone or computer 24 hours a day.

Treasury holds $1 billion of unclaimed funds in trust for their rightful owners. It is estimated that 1 in 7 people nationwide has unclaimed property, so check whether you have money to claim at unclaimed.oregon.gov. It’s free and easy to search.

About Author

Eric is the Public Information Director with Oregon State Treasury

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