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Do We Have Your Money?
06/27/2008
 
For immediate release                                                                                         08-22
 
More information:   Julie Curtis – 503-986-5298
                             Cheryl Gladden – 503-986-5289
                                   
State seeks to reunite owners with their unclaimed property
 
McMinnville – The State of Oregon will set up shop at this year’s Turkey Rama as part of outreach efforts to reunite Oregonians with their money.
 
“Our goal is to inform people about this program and let them know how easy it is to find lost money,” said Cheryl Gladden, acting manager of the state’s Unclaimed Property Program, housed at the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). “If you’ve ever forgotten about a checking or savings account, an old uncashed check, gift certificate, stock or safety deposit box, we may have your money,” she said.
 
Unclaimed property is reported to the state when the owner’s last known address was in Oregon. Each year, businesses and organizations are required to send unclaimed assets – mostly money – to DSL to hold for rightful owners. Assets are held forever for claim.
 
“Oregon is holding more than $300 million for almost two million owners,” said Gladden, “which means the odds are good that many Oregonians have money to be claimed. In Yamhill County alone, we have $3.2 million for 19,385 people.”  
 
Turkey Rama festival-goers are encouraged to stop by DSL’s unclaimed property booth in the community outreach area near the artists’ village during event hours. Unclaimed property staff will have a laptop for conducting name searches, and forms for starting the claims process.
 
“We were recently at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival and we found $8,500 for two siblings. The money was reported in their deceased parents’ names. It’s very common for the elderly to lose track of financial assets, especially during times of illness or from the stress of losing a loved one.”
 
Anyone can check for their name on DSL’s Web site:  www.oregonstatelands.us. If people do find their name, the Web site guides them through the claims process, which involves filling out and submitting an inquiry form to DSL. “It’s easy to find out if the state is holding your money,” said Gladden.
 
Unclaimed property is held forever until claimed by the owner. The receipts are held in the Common School Fund, a trust fund established at statehood to finance public schools. 
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.
 
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