A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming Unclaimed Funds in New Jersey and New York

By February 1, 2024 No Comments
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Recently, I was asked by several clients to help them recover funds that had been sent to the state as unclaimed.  This actually included some funds that I needed to claim personally (long story) and involved both New Jersey and New York.  New Jersey has more of an online system while New York has a website but requires paper filings.

Unclaimed funds are financial assets that have been abandoned by their rightful owners and are held by the state until claimed. Both New Jersey and New York have robust unclaimed property programs designed to reunite individuals with their forgotten or overlooked assets. In this guide, I provide a bit of a step-by-step overview for individuals seeking to reclaim unclaimed funds in these states.

 

  1. Understanding Unclaimed Funds:

Unclaimed funds can take various forms, including dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, forgotten utility deposits, and abandoned safe deposit box contents. State governments act as custodians of these funds until the rightful owners come forward to claim them.

  1. Conducting a Search:

The first step in reclaiming unclaimed funds is to determine if you are owed any money. Both New Jersey and New York have online databases where you can search for your name or the names of your family members to check for unclaimed assets. In New Jersey, the Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) manages the database, while in New York, the Office of the State Comptroller oversees the process.

  1. Providing Documentation:

Once you identify unclaimed funds in your name, you will need to gather relevant documentation to prove your ownership. This may include photo identification, proof of address, and any supporting documents demonstrating your connection to the unclaimed assets.

  1. Filing a Claim:

To initiate the claims process, you will need to submit a claim form provided by the respective state’s unclaimed property program. This form will typically require your personal information, details about the unclaimed funds, and supporting documentation. It is crucial to complete the form accurately to expedite the review process.

  1. Verification and Approval:

After submitting your claim, the state will verify the information provided. This verification process ensures that the claimant is the rightful owner of the unclaimed funds. Once your claim is approved, you will be notified of the amount and the method of payment.

  1. Additional Steps for New York:

In New York, the Office of the State Comptroller may require additional steps, such as submitting a notarized form or providing additional documentation. It’s essential to carefully follow the instructions provided by the state to avoid delays in the claims process.

 

Unclaimed funds databases are regularly updated, and new accounts may be added over time. It is advisable to periodically check the databases to ensure that you do not miss out on any unclaimed assets that may become available in the future.

Reclaiming unclaimed funds in New Jersey and New York is a straightforward process, but it requires diligence and attention to detail. By conducting regular searches, providing accurate documentation, and following the prescribed procedures, individuals can successfully reunite with their long-forgotten assets and financial resources.