How to Collect Unclaimed Money from the Utah Unclaimed Property Division

The state of Utah is sitting on millions of dollars, and some of it could be yours.

Utah’s unclaimed property division received $66.7 million in lost property in 2021, stemming from dormant bank accounts, overpaid medical bills, uncashed checks and unpaid insurance benefits. That’s on top of the $370 million ball the division has acquired over the years.

Most of the time it’s money. But sometimes the contents of an abandoned vault can be claimed. This includes items such as collectible coins, military medals, artwork and photographs – even a set of dentures.

The division made the announcement Tuesday, which in addition to being the start of Black History Month, Chinese New Year, National Dark Chocolate Day and Robinson Crusoe Day, happens to be the National Unclaimed Property Day.

Utahns can search for their name using the state’s website, mycash.utah.gov, and file a claim if they have unclaimed property or money. There’s a good chance — 20%, to be exact — that your name is in the database.

“One in five Utahns have lost money, and they probably don’t know it. I had no idea I was wasting money until I became state treasurer and learned of an overpaid medical bill,” said Utah Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks, in a press release.

When a company owes money to someone it can’t find, after three years it hands the money over to the state, which then adds the owner’s name to its database.

Last year, the state returned $36 million in unclaimed funds to Utah residents. Typically, it brings in about half of the money acquired each year, says Brittany Griffin of the Utah State Treasurer’s Office, but inevitably some owners never check the database.

Sometimes companies flag unclaimed property that has no owner, and there are likely millions of people who will never be claimed.

Each year, the office donates a portion of this money to the state’s Uniform School Fund.

“Take five minutes on this National Unclaimed Property Day to search for property belonging to you, your friends and loved ones. We receive tens of millions of dollars in new unclaimed property each year, so even if you already searched our online database for unclaimed property, check again,” Oaks said.

The division also urged Utahns to verify the database on behalf of their friends, family, deceased loved ones and organizations they support. Sometimes it’s a few dollars in an old bank account, sometimes it’s an inheritance from a long-lost relative.

“In some cases, it can be life changing,” Griffin said.

Utah Unclaimed Property Division Chief Financial Officer Janell Hall and Brandon Waite, Utah Unclaimed Property Division incumbent team manager, sort through unclaimed properties at the Utah Unclaimed Property Division office. Utah's unclaimed property in Salt Lake City on Thursday, February 3, 2022.

Utah Unclaimed Property Division Chief Financial Officer Janell Hall and Brandon Waite, Utah Unclaimed Property Division incumbent team manager, sort through unclaimed properties at the Utah Unclaimed Property Division office. Utah’s unclaimed property in Salt Lake City on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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