Each year, millions of dollars in assets are turned over to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General as unclaimed property. It's our office's job to help return these assets to their rightful owners. That's the purpose of indianaunclaimed.gov.
Any financial asset with no activity by its owner for an extended period of time is considered unclaimed property. This includes unclaimed wages or commissions; savings and checking accounts; stock dividends; insurance proceeds; underlying shares; customer deposits or overpayments; certificates of deposit; credit balances; refunds; money orders; and safe deposit box contents.
Unclaimed property consists of certain financial assets-as defined by Indiana state statute IC 32-34-that have been abandoned by their owners for an extended period of time. Examples of unclaimed property include:
Items that are not considered unclaimed property include abandoned vehicles, real estate, furniture and stolen property. Many people are confused by unclaimed property, expecting to find listings and addresses for vacant homes. In fact, tangible items are rarely included in unclaimed property. Those that are included usually consist of small items, such as coins or jewelry that can fit inside a safe deposit box.
In accordance with Indiana law, property is considered "unclaimed" when the holder of the asset, after a legally specified period, is unable to find or contact the owner. The law requires business entities and others to review their records each year to determine whether they are in possession of any abandoned funds, securities, or other property that is reportable, and to prepare an annual report of abandoned property.
Before it is turned over to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, unclaimed property is in the possession of holders who are responsible for reporting on behalf of their branches, divisions, and other affiliated entities.
A holder is a bank, insurance company or other business or organization in possession of property that has remained unclaimed for a given length of time. The holder most turn over the property to the Indiana attorney general's Unclaimed Property Division after attempts at contacting the rightful owner have been unsuccessful. Common holders include:
Financial institutions, including any bank, trust company, savings bank, safe-deposit company, private banker, savings and loan association, credit union and cooperative bank. Both state and federally chartered institutions are required to report holdings.
All business associations of two or more individuals, both for-profit and not-for-profit, including corporations, joint stock companies, business trusts, partnerships, cooperatives and other associations.
Utilities owned or operated for public use.
Other legal entities, both for-profit and not-for-profit, including governments, political subdivisions, public authorities, public corporations, estates, trusts, or any other legal or commercial entities.
Unclaimed property is generally held by the state for 25 years. During that period, entitled individuals may search for unclaimed property using the search mechanism on this Web site and file a claim for that property. Recent submissions of unclaimed property are annually advertised in local newspapers to aid the claim process. After 25 years, unclaimed property can no longer be claimed and becomes the property of the state.
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General publishes the names of all unclaimed property owners (as reported by the holder) in newspapers across the state, broken up by county. According to state law, properties turned over in a given calendar year must appear in the newspaper by Nov. 30 of the following year.
Search the indianaunclaimed.gov database to see if you have assets waiting to be claimed. Searching is simple and totally free - just enter your name and search Indiana's unclaimed property records to see if you find a match. If your search returns no results, revise your search, and try again. Here are a few tips to try:
Search all of the names you have ever used, including your maiden name and nicknames.
Look up common misspellings of your name. (For example, if your last name is "Simons," try "Simmons," "Simonds," "Symonds," etc.)
You could be an heir to unclaimed property! Check the names of your grandparents, great-grandparents or other relatives who have passed away.
Search for family and friends to see if they have unclaimed property. If your search continues to return no results, don't give up! Property is added regularly throughout the year, so please frequently visit and search indianaunclaimed.gov.
Of course, many people are lucky enough to find unclaimed property on their first search. If your search returns a list of names, check the last known address in the list to see if it is your current or former residence. It may also be helpful to check the holder - you may remember doing business with the company.