Second Highest Annual Payout in Utah History
SALT LAKE CITY – September 8, 2016 – Utah State Treasurer David Damschen today announced that $21.6 million in unclaimed funds and property were returned in FY2016 (July 2015 – June 2016) to over 30,000 Utahns by the Unclaimed Property Division of theUtah State Treasurer’s Office. Due to the March 2014 launch of a new website and community outreach campaign, this is one of the top two highest annual payouts in Utah history. The highest payout was FY2015, immediately following the launch when the Division returned $22.5 million to rightful owners – a 34 percent increase from the prior year’s all-time high of $15.8 million.
“I’ve made it my mission to increase public awareness of the $370 million dollars in unclaimed property under the state’s watch – and our efforts are literally paying off for thousands of Utahns.” said Treasurer Damschen. “For the last two years since the launch of our public outreach campaign, our team has increased payouts by over 30 percent.”
In March 2014, the Unclaimed Property Division launched its new website,mycash.utah.gov, promoting it through radio, television, online news channels and in various social media outlets – which increased paid claims volumes by 112 percent. In 2015, the Division continued to increase awareness via traditional media and social media channels, keeping paid claims volumes at historically record high levels.
“Checking the website is easier than playing the lottery and you have better odds of winning given one in five Utahns has unclaimed money,” added Treasurer Damschen. “From dormant bank accounts to old overpaid doctor bills, uncollected insurance checks or outstanding utility deposits – we ask everyone to check today so we can continue getting this money back into the pockets of its rightful owners.”
Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division currently safeguards a total of $370 million in unclaimed property for residents and businesses throughout Utah, with many states across the nation holding far higher totals. An average of $40 million in new unclaimed money is turned over to the State of Utah each year. Lost or abandoned property is searchable online at mycash.utah.gov or by calling 801-715-3300.
“We ask all Utahns to call or check mycash.utah.gov to learn if they have money waiting for them and begin the simple claims process – and to check for their family, friends and deceased relatives as well,” added Dennis Johnston, Director of the Unclaimed Property Division.
Along with most states across the nation, Utah adopted the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (1956) – ensuring abandoned or lost property of its citizens is turned over to State government for safekeeping – not kept by companies, employers, service providers and others. Examples of such property include uncashed payroll checks, dormant bank accounts, overpaid bills and security deposit boxes. Companies with unclaimed properties are required to transfer them each year to the States so those funds can be safeguarded and returned to the rightful owners.