The New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration returned a record $202.95 million in assets to rightful owners in Fiscal Year 2023, the result of 73,686 claims filed with the agency over the past year.
This year’s total surpassed the previous record, which was set in Fiscal Year 2022, when $164.13 million in assets were returned via 50,867 claims filed. More than $2.4 billion has been returned since the inception of the program.
Unclaimed property is a mechanism for the State of New Jersey to safeguard property that has been abandoned or lost for three years. It can include bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance payouts, and even real physical property.
UPA’s Outreach Team focuses on reuniting abandoned property with its owners through various outreach initiatives, including mass mailings, media campaigns, and attendance at state fairs, community centers and other public locations and events throughout the year. The Administration works with legislative district offices to communicate with constituents, and last year over 24,000 people were reached through this collaboration.
UPA also publishes a list each summer in newspapers across New Jersey of all of the names of people who had property turned over to the State within the past year. Last year’s ad included nearly 225,000 names.
Nearly 33 million people in the United States – 1 in every 10 – has unclaimed property: financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years. When that happens, and the company cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, and unused rebate cards.
While certain third-party companies will charge a fee to connect individuals with their assets, there is never a charge for searching UPA’s database or for claiming property on the State’s secure website. Once approved, the asset is returned to its rightful owner with interest.
Anyone can search for their name on https://www.unclaimedproperty.nj.gov/ for free to determine if a state is holding their property. Individuals are encouraged to search their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit