What is Unclaimed Money in Missouri?
According to the Missouri Unclaimed Property Law, unclaimed property refers to abandoned cash from bank accounts, bonds, stocks, and contents of safe deposit boxes. The state law defines abandoned property as an asset with no documented transaction traceable to the owner after a statutory period, generally five years.
There are other types of unclaimed property in Missouri, such as government refunds, wages from past jobs, proceeds from insurance policies, and utility deposits. However, Missouri exempts real estate property from its unclaimed property law, like land, cars, and houses.
The law requires property holders such as financial institutions, businesses, and insurance companies to report unclaimed property to the Missouri State Treasurer's office if they cannot locate the owner after the statutorily defined period. An unclaimed property becomes government property after the statutory period in a process known as escheatment.
Where the property remains unclaimed, the Unclaimed Property Unit of the state agency will assume custody of cash properties. According to state law, abandoned non-monetary value assets are occasionally up for auction and sold to the highest bidder; the Unit records the proceeds from the auction in the owner's name. Proceeds and any other unclaimed property are held in the state's custody forever until the rightful owner comes to claim it.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Missouri
The Missouri State Treasurer's office keeps a record of unclaimed funds and maintains a searchable index open to all Missourians. Anyone can find unclaimed money by checking through this database. Alternatively, interested parties can also mail their requests to:
Office of the Missouri State Treasurer
P.O. Box 1004
Jefferson City, MO 65102
The interested individual must include owner names and known addresses on the request. The State office will write back if any properties in its custody are associated with the names and addresses.
How Do I Find Missouri Unclaimed Money for Free?
The State Treasurer's search index is free to use, and the office will not charge any money for unclaimed property requests sent by mail. In addition, Missourians can also search for unclaimed money on databases held by distinguished federal government agencies.
Examples of federal agencies that hold records of unclaimed money include; the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which assumes custody of unclaimed bankruptcy funds. Interested parties can use the free U.S. Bankruptcy Unclaimed Funds Locator to find unclaimed bankruptcy funds on its database. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) also keeps records of unclaimed property, and anyone can search its unclaimed property repository for free. NUAPA holds unclaimed property records within its purview for the State of Missouri and every other state in the country.
The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) holds records of unclaimed pension benefits. Interested individuals can call (800) 400-7242 to contact the PBGC toll-free. In addition, other agencies such as the US Department of Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service holds unclaimed matured savings bonds and payments on other securities, and people can access its online database for free.
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Missouri
The Missouri State Treasurer's office allows people to file a paperless claim via its online search index. People looking for an unclaimed property can run searches by inputting their first name, last name, and business on the search box. Interested parties are advised to provide accurate name data to encourage favourable search results.
Upon identifying an unclaimed property, the researcher should click the "select" button located on the left of each claim. The system will add the selected properties to a list, and requesting parties can have their search results emailed to them or another recipient.
After selecting an unclaimed property, requesters can file a claim by clicking the "File a Claim" button displayed on the bottom of the webpage. The next step is to provide important information, such as requesters' relationship with the owner, the last four digits of their SSN, phone number, birth year, and relevant information about the property owner.
The Treasurer's office provides a second option for filing a claim; requesters can send a mail to:
Office of the Missouri State Treasurer
P.O. Box 1004
Jefferson City, MO 65102
The office will return a claim form with guidelines and instructions on claiming unclaimed funds. Requesting parties are to complete the form and attach any relevant document that could prove their ownership or relationship with the owner of the property. The Treasurer's office offers this service at no cost.
According to Missouri law, there's no deadline for filing a claim.
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Missouri?
The State Treasurer's office does not provide a specific time range for processing claims; however, they aim to respond to requests and release properties to the rightful owner as quickly as possible. Its Unclaimed Property Unit offers guidance and assistance to requesters. This assistance ensures no unnecessary delays and that claims get swiftly expedited.
Interested parties can monitor their claims by sending a mail to the Department or calling (573) 751-0123.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Missouri?
Heirs and surviving family members, executors, and court-appointed probate administrators can claim unclaimed funds from deceased persons in Missouri. However, the Missouri State Treasurer's office will request to see essential documents that justify a claim before releasing an unclaimed property. These documents include; vital records, like marriage records, death certificates, or any other documents that prove the requester's relationship with the property owner. The Treasurer may also request to see a valid means of identification.
What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Missouri if No One Claims It?
According to the Missouri Unclaimed Property Auction Act, if nobody comes forward to claim an unclaimed good, merchandise, or other property, the Missouri Treasurer can put the property up for sale to the highest bidder at public auction. The law states that the buyer will receive the title to the purchased property and is exempt from future claims from the owner, successor, or any prior holder.
According to Section 447.558 RSMo, the State Treasurer and auctioneer reserve the right to reject any bids for the property; however, the Treasurer will not do this intentionally. The State Treasurer's office will announce the date of the auction. However, the State Treasurer may remove some properties previously included on the catalogue when receiving a claim.
Can Someone in Missouri Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Missourians can claim unclaimed money from other states, provided they can prove ownership of the assets in question. Affected persons may search for unclaimed property in other states through NUAPA's property locator.
All states have their Unclaimed property policy, and individuals should file a claim for unclaimed property by following the procedures provided by the state's agency. Like Missouri and California, some states allow requesters to file paperless and paper claims. Other states only provide e-claim services or mail services.
Regardless of the policies, all state agencies that temporarily hold unclaimed assets will request valid proof of ownership or relationship before releasing the asset.