Fall 2020 Unclaimed Funds Distribution
This fall, thousands of current and former Oregonians will receive letters and checks in the mail as part of an initiative by the Oregon Unclaimed Property Program to return unclaimed funds to people.
The checks are funds--referred to as unclaimed property--that have been reported to the state by companies and organizations that do business with Oregonians and have been unable to return the money to the correct owner.
Typically, people need to file a claim with the Unclaimed Property Program to receive the funds they are owed. However, given the unprecedented financial uncertainties and difficulties many are facing, the state has determined, for the first time ever, the funds will be directly mailed to owners.
We understand you may have questions about the letters and checks that are being mailed out. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about this initiative. If you still have questions, you can email email@example.com or reach us by phone at (503)986-5251 or (503)986-5200.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Unclaimed Property Program?
The Unclaimed Property Program is administered by the Oregon Department of State Lands. The program supports Oregon's unclaimed property laws, which were created in 1957 to protect consumers by holding their unclaimed funds in a central registry. The Unclaimed Property Program works to reunite as many people as possible with their money.
What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property is any amount of money that has not been returned to an individual or entity. It becomes unclaimed once an organization or business cannot contact the owner for a specific amount of time.
Typically, unclaimed property occurs when:
- People lose or forget to cash a check, or overpay a final bill
- A person's address changes and mail forwarding ends
- An account holder dies, and heirs are unaware of the account
- An account holder has no activity or contact with the financial institution for at least two years
Some common examples of unclaimed property are uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, security deposits, tax refunds, credit balances, investment accounts, payroll checks, refunds, mutual funds and securities, and unpaid wages and commissions.
Why am I receiving this check? What are the criteria?
You are receiving this check because you are owed unclaimed property by a business that has reported and remitted that property to the state. Typically, people must submit a claim to the Unclaimed Property Program to receive their funds; however, the state has determined that property that meet certain criteria may be mailed directly to the correct owner.
Your property met the following criteria to be distributed: the assets were reported to the state by a business or businesses in 2017; the assets are owned only by you; they do not include investments in stocks, bonds or mutual funds; they have a value of $50 to $2,500; they were reported to the state under your social security number; and we believe we have your current mailing address (i.e., you received the first letter our team sent in October without the letter being returned because you no longer live there).
Where did this money come from?
This money was turned over to the state by a business or organization that owes you unclaimed property. The busines or organization was unable to return the funds directly to you, so it reported and remitted them to the state.
I see that I am owed unclaimed property, but I did not receive a letter or check. Why not and what can I do?
There are several possible reasons you may have not received your unclaimed property in the mail:
Your unclaimed property may not meet certain criteria for property distributed this round. The criteria are as follows: (1) the assets were reported to the state by a business or businesses in 2017 (2) the assets are owned only by one individual (3) the assets do not include investments in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds (4) the assets have a value of $50 - $2,500 (5) the assets are reported to the state under a social security number that is associated with the owner.
Additionally, your name needed to be associated with a deliverable address. We may not have your current address in our system, or your property was not reported under your social security number. If you have recently moved or have not updated your mailing records, we may not have your current address on file. If you believe this is the case, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us by phone at (503)986-5200.
To claim funds not included in the automatic distribution, you can submit a claim at unclaimed.oregon.gov.
I received a letter in October. Why haven't I received my check yet?
Your check may still be in transit in the mail and headed your way, or it may be delayed if you decided to file a claim.
The checks were mailed on November 6, 2020 and may take up to two weeks to be delivered. If you do not receive your check by the end of November, you can email email@example.com or reach us by phone at (503)986-5251 or (503)986-5200.
The Unclaimed Property Program advised letter recipients in October 2020 to wait for their checks in the mail, rather than file a claim at unclaimed.oregon.gov. If you opted to file a claim, your claim may take 6 -7 months to be processed.
How do I know this is not a scam?
Here is what you can do to verify this is not a scam:
Visit the Department of State Lands website or unclaimed.oregon.gov to learn more about the Unclaimed Property Program and find your unclaimed property. You can claim your funds directly from the website if you choose. Just know that in some cases, due to our high volume of claims, this may delay your check by 6 to 7 months.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us by phone at (503)986-5251 or (503)986-5200.
Is this money related to federal or state stimulus checks?
No, this money is not associated with federal or state stimulus checks. All checks distributed by the Unclaimed Property Program and Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are unclaimed funds that have been reported and remitted to the state by businesses and organizations that owe people unclaimed money. The Unclaimed Property Program and DSL do not play a role in federal or state determinations about stimulus checks, nor do they distribute federal or state stimulus checks.
Why is the amount on the check I received less than the amount of money associated with my name at unclaimed.oregon.gov?
Property distributed this fall met certain criteria: the assets were reported to the state by a business in 2017; they are owned only by you; they do not include investments in stocks, bonds or mutual funds; they have a value of $50 to $2,500; and they were reported to the state under your social security number.
Some of the property associated with your name may have met this criteria for the automatic distribution, while other property may have not. If you have unclaimed property that is still waiting to be claimed, you can start a claim at any time at unclaimed.oregon.gov.