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General Information Reporting Guide
Overview
What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property is any financial asset, usually intangible, held for a person or entity that cannot be found. Examples of unclaimed property include deposits at financial institutions, unpaid wages, commissions, stocks, dividends, customer overpayments, refunds, money orders, insurance proceeds, utility deposits and contents of safe deposit boxes.
 
Unclaimed property does not include abandoned land, houses, boats, fixtures, or personal property such as clothing left behind in a rental, or lost and found items such as an umbrella left on a bus.
 
Storage Unit Proceeds
In the case of abandoned rental storage property or repossessed cars, any unclaimed sale proceeds are reportable as unclaimed property.
 
What is a holder?
A holder is any person or business entity in possession of property belonging to another. In Oregon, holders report unclaimed property to the Department of State Lands (DSL) annually if:
 
  • The owner’s last known address is in Oregon.
  • The owner’s address is unknown, foreign or the owner is unidentified and Oregon is the state of corporate domicile.
  • The owner’s property is not reportable to another state and the property transaction occurred in Oregon.
 
What does the state do with this money?
Unclaimed property is held in the Common School Fund (CSF), a constitutional trust fund for Oregon’s K-12 public schools. The state does not spend unclaimed property; interest earnings from the CSF are sent to the state’s 197 public school districts twice a year. Unclaimed property is available for claim by the owner or heir(s) forever.
 
Once money or property is reported to the state as unclaimed, DSL makes a diligent effort to locate the missing owners and reunite them with their lost assets.
 
Is this law unique to Oregon?
No, all states have an unclaimed property law.  Check the following resources for information on other states:
 
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA): www.unclaimed.org
Unclaimed Property Professional Organization (UPPO): www.uppo.org


 
Reporting Information
When are reports due?
Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, for property abandoned as of June 30 of the report year.
 
To remit property early, please submit a written request to the Unclaimed Property Section before filing the report.  Include the reason for remitting early, number of properties and their value, and describe the attempts made to locate the owners.  You may also fax or email your request.
 
            Department of State Lands
            Unclaimed Property Section
            775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100
            Salem, OR  97301-1279
            Fax:  503-378-4844
            E-mail:  holder@dsl.state.or.us 
 
Property received early without written approval may be returned.
 
How do I determine when property is abandoned? 
While most property is abandoned after three years, depending on your organization and the type of property, there are different abandonment periods. See the Report Year Conversion Table.
 
Are all amounts reportable? 
Yes, all amounts are reportable. While we appreciate receiving detail on all accounts, holders may report property valued at less than $50 per owner in aggregate.  If detailed information is available for aggregate accounts, please attach it to the report to better serve claimants with small values.
 
What is an aggregate?
A group of related property-type items may be reported as a single line item. The owner names and addresses are not included with the report. Property valued at $50 or less may be aggregated when reporting to Oregon.
 
Accounts greater than $10 appear on the department's Web site.
 
Do I have to aggregate property?
No, in fact we encourage holders to report the detail for all property.  Aggregates were developed decades ago to simplify reporting when most reports were hand-written or typed.
 
Is Electronic Reporting Required?
Yes, electronic reports are required for reports with more than 15 properties.
 
Electronic reports must be in the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ (NAUPA) format.  Free software is available from DSL’s software provider, ACS Wagers, at www.wagers.net.  Formats for text and Excel files are also available at this Web site.  Starting with 2010 reporting, there is also free software offered by NAUPA at www.unclaimed.org.
 
There are also several software packages available for purchase that will generate a report in the correct format.   They commonly include additional features that some holders find helpful.
 
Electronic reports may be submitted on a CD or 3.5” diskette.
 
How long should I keep my records?
Keep unclaimed property reports and related records including due diligence efforts for three years after reporting. Unclaimed property records are considered confidential beginning 12 months before and for 24 months after reporting.
Do I need to report if the owner’s address is unknown?
Yes, if the owner's address is unknown, and your organization is incorporated or domiciled in Oregon, report it to the state of Oregon. Unknown owners, unknown addresses, and foreign address properties are reported to the holder's state of incorporation or domicile if the company is not incorporated.
 
Do I need to file negative (zero) reports?
If you have an active reporting account with Oregon, send a negative report to help us maintain your account information.
 
If your account is closing or you would like to inactivate your reporting account, please let us know. Inactive accounts do not need to send a negative report but will not receive reminders and our newsletter.
 
We send reminder notices to active reporting accounts each spring if we have not received a report.
 
If you have never reported unclaimed property to the State of Oregon, you do not need to submit a negative report.
 

 
Reciprocity Information
To avoid disputes over which state has custody to unclaimed property held by a holder, there are a series of rules that cover where property should be reported:
 
1) A holder should report unclaimed property to the state of the owner’s last known address. 
 
2) When the owner’s last known address is unknown, the unclaimed property is reportable to the state of the holder’s state of incorporation or the principal place of business for an unincorporated business.
 
Can I send property for other states to Oregon?
For Oregon holders, you may report incidental unclaimed property for other states to Oregon unless you have received specific instructions to report from the other state. If another state specifically instructs you to report directly, you need to follow their directions. Oregon transfers incidental property for other states in June following the reporting cycle.
 
If you report another state’s property to Oregon:
Report the items using that state’s abandonment period for the property. 
You may be charged late reporting fees by the other state if it is late.
 
May I report California owners to Oregon?
No, all owners with a California address must be reported directly to the State of California, even incidental amounts. For current reporting instructions please visit their Web site at http://www.sco.ca.gov/upd_msg.html​.
 
What is incidental property? 
There are less than 15 accounts and $1,000 total due for the other state. 
 
If the other state’s property exceeds either the quantity or dollars, you need to report directly to that state. Examples: 10 accounts totaling 1,200.00 - report directly; 18 accounts totaling $400 - report directly.
 
HRS Pro makes it easy to create separate electronic reporting files when reporting to multiple states.
 

 
Due Diligence Information
Locating the owner:
Holders must make a diligent effort to locate owners of property valued at $100 or greater before the property is remitted to DSL. This should be done as soon as the account is dormant or unclaimed, but must be completed at least 60 days prior to filing and remittance.
 
Acceptable efforts may include phone calls, email, letters and personal contacts. You must retain documentation of your effort for three years after filing your report.
 
May I subtract my costs of due diligence from the owner account?
No, unless you have a written contract with the owner that permits this charge.
 
Legal reference: See ORS 098.352 and OAR 141-045-0061
 

 
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