Each year, millions of dollars are turned over to my office as lost or abandoned. The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt began in
1983 to help reunite Iowans with their lost property. Since then, my office has returned over $280 million to more than 500,000 people.
Every year, entities across the country are required to review their records for any outstanding obligations owed to individuals or businesses and report them to the appropriate state. My office strives to make this process as simple and secure as possible.
In 1983, I created the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt to help reunite Iowans with their lost or abandoned property. Since that time, my office has worked to return over $200 million, 2.6 million shares of various stocks and contents from thousands of safe deposit boxes to over half a million people. Everything from dormant bank accounts to uncashed checks and utility refunds are sent to my office every year as unclaimed property.
Most people believe they will never lose track of their assets, but it happens all the time. A person moves and forgets about an account or safe deposit box, a clerical error at a company results in mail being returned as undeliverable or a person’s name changes upon marriage or divorce. Oftentimes, relatives may be unaware of bank accounts, safe deposit boxes or stocks the deceased may have owned. The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt engages in various outreach efforts to locate missing owners, and it is our goal to help Iowans receive their lost treasures.
WHAT IS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY?
Unclaimed property laws began in the United States as a consumer protection program and they have evolved to protect not only the owners, but also their heirs and estates. Unclaimed property includes, but is not limited to, abandoned financial assets such as checking and savings accounts, unpaid wages, securities, life insurance payouts, uncashed checks and the contents of safe deposit boxes that are without activity for a certain period of time. It does not include real estate or vehicles.
Search for Unclaimed Property
To begin your search for unclaimed funds, enter a Last Name or Business Name. A Last Name or Business Name is required unless you have a Property ID. If you have a common last name, you can refine your search result, enter a City.
To search for unclaimed property, enter a Last or Business Name in the search box. For best results, you may also enter a First Name in the first name box. Results will include common nicknames when a first name is entered.
Initiate as many searches as you like and ‘Claim’ property as you go. After you have completed all searches, click ‘File Your Claim’!
Note: If you have received correspondence from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt or from a newspaper publication that shows a Property ID, you may enter that number in the Property ID search box.
* Indicates a required field. A Last or Business Name or Property ID must be entered in order to successfully view your search results.
CHECK A CLAIM’S STATUS
NOTE: At the time you entered your claim, you received a Claim ID number. This ID number can also be found on the Claim Receipt that was sent to the email address you provided. If you have lost or forgotten this number, contact the Unclaimed Property Division.
HOW TO CLAIM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY:
STEP 1: Navigate to the PROPERTY SEARCH page
You can access the Property Search page through the home page by hovering over Claiming Property > “Search Unclaimed”
STEP 2: Type your name to search for Property
Type your name (first name, last name or both) into the Name/Business Name field and click SEARCH. If you receive too many results, try to narrow down the search by entering a city.
STEP 3: Add Your Property and Click “FILE YOUR CLAIM”
Once you’ve found the property that belongs to you, check the CLAIM button and click the FILE YOUR CLAIM button to begin the claims process.
UPLOAD CLAIM DOCUMENTATION
Document Submission Requirements:
- Uploads must be a standard PDF, TIF, PNG or JPG file type.
- Individual files must not exceed 10MB.
- Individual files must be greater than 1 byte.
- Uploaded file names must not exceed 100 characters and must only contain letters, numbers, dashes and underscores.
- Documents must not be password protected.
- Before uploading your image, please make sure the image is cropped to fit the document. Any non-essential portion of the image such as a white background from a scanner should be trimmed away.
- Certain claims require original documents in order to process and therefore cannot be uploaded to the website. Please refer to your claim form to determine if your claim requires original documentation.
You can use this Link to UPLOAD Info.
STEPS TO INITIATE A CLAIM
STEP 1: Review your claimed properties
Once you have selected the property(ies) you wish to claim, review it before clicking FILE YOUR CLAIM and continuing with the claims process.
STEP 2a: Select Your Claimant Relationship
Select your ‘Relationship to Owner’ for each property you are claiming. For example, if you are the owner of the property, please select ‘Owner’; if you are an heir to the property’s owner, please select either ‘Heir’ or ‘Representative,’ depending on the applicable situation. This information will provide you with the appropriate details necessary to claim the property. Click FILE CLAIM to continue your claim.
STEP 2b: Enter Your Information
Complete your information as the claimant. This should include your current mailing address as it will be the address where the funds are mailed. Click NEXT to move to the Preview screen.
STEP 2c: Address Confirmation
You may receive an additional screen that asks you to verify the address you entered. This is to ensure we are sending your check to a valid mailing address.
STEP 3: Submit your claim
You will now preview all properties being claimed and verify your current information. If correct, agree to the terms and click SUBMIT to officially create your claim and generate your claim number.
COMPLETE YOUR CLAIM
STEP 1: Review and gather documentation requirements
Each unclaimed property claim requires a minimum of a completed and signed claim form, a copy of photo identification and a social security number. To determine the specific requirements of your claim, please review the email sent to you. The items required will be listed on the claim form attachment.
STEP 2: Submit documentation to State
You have two options to submit your claim form and additional documentation.
- Upload your documents via our secure link.
- Mail in your documentation to the following address:
Great Iowa Treasure Hunt
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12 th St., 1 st Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319
TRACK YOUR CLAIM’S PROGRESS
STEP 1: View online
Enter your claim number at any time via our Status Page to receive the most recent status. Your claim number can be found on your claim form and on the email you received at the time of submission.
The Reporting Process
The treasurer’s office understands that reporting unclaimed property can be a large task. In an effort to make the process easier, we have broken it down into a step-by-step process.
- Identify the property to be reported by June 30. This includes savings and checking accounts, unclaimed wages, dividends, securities (PDF), policy benefits, gift cards, any type of outstanding check, safe deposit boxes (PDF), utilities, etc. For more details, view the Property Type Codes and their Iowa Code Sections (PDF). If the entity is not holding any reportable property at this time, a report does not have to be filed.
- Attempt to locate the owners between July 1 and October by sending a letter (PDF) to the last known addresses.
- Enter owner and property information into the reporting software July 1 through October. (Creating the Report) All reports and remittances are due by November 1.
CREATING THE REPORT:
Electronic reporting is required in Iowa. Every entity holding unclaimed funds is required to report in the NAUPA II format. Businesses will use software to enter the entity’s information as well as the information they have on the outstanding obligations and the respective owner(s). This format allows the state treasurer’s office to process reports timelier and load reports directly into the state’s unclaimed property database. This file must be sent to the treasurer’s office via the reporting portal. This reduces the risk of losing or corrupting information through file conversion.
Businesses that are reporting a small number of owners/properties and would prefer to manually enter their report to send directly to the state treasurer’s office may do so by selecting “Enter a Manual Report” on the Submit a Report page.
Below are the various vendors that offer unclaimed property reporting software. HRS Pro and the Manual Online Reporting are the only free options.
RULES & REGULATIONS
Early reporting of unclaimed property.
9.19 (556) Early reporting of unclaimed property.
9.19(1) A holder may request permission to report and deliver property to the division before it is
presumed abandoned by sending a written request to the division.
9.19(2) The request must identify the property to be reported and delivered and the reasons for
requesting permission to report and deliver the property prior to the date it is presumed abandoned.
9.19(3) The division may, at its sole discretion, consent to early reporting and delivery according
to terms and conditions prescribed by the division.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 556.11.
Claimant interest in unclaimed property.
—9.33 (556) Claimant interest in unclaimed property.
9.33(1) The division shall have the exclusive authority to determine a claimant’s interest in
9.33(2) Absent an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by operation of the Iowa probate
code or other applicable law, an owner’s interest in unclaimed property held by the division may not be
transferred to a third party except in the following circumstances:
a. As a remnant asset in bankruptcy;
b. Under an agreement that assignsthe apparent owner’sinterest in the unclaimed property where
the agreement is otherwise valid and meets the following criteria:
(1) The agreement is made at least 24 months after the date payment or delivery is made under
Iowa Code section 556.13;
(2) The agreement is in writing and signed by the apparent owner; and
(3) The agreement discloses the nature and value of the property and the name and address of the
person in possession of the property.
9.33(3) For the purposes of the Act, a money judgment against an apparent owner does not create
an interest in the specific property held by the division on behalf of the apparent owner.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 556.19
Appeal of examination findings.
—9.39 (556) Appeal of examination findings. A holder may appeal the examination findings of
9.39(1) The holder may utilize the appeals process after receipt of the examination report from the
9.39(2) Failure to submit the appeal request within 30 calendar days shall constitute an acceptance
of the total unclaimed property reporting liability findings.
9.39(3) The holder shall submit to the division a written request for an appeal along with all
9.39(4) The division shall contact the holder and schedule an appeal meeting within 20 calendar
days of receipt of the holder’s appeal request.
9.39(5) An appeal review shall be conducted at which time the holder shall present evidence
supporting the holder’s basis for the appeal.
9.39(6) Based on the evidence and additional information presented during the appeal, the division
will render a decision. Such final decision will be written and sent to the holder within 30 calendar days
of the appeal meeting.
9.39(7) The holder shall file a report with the division and deliver unclaimed property to the
division reflecting the unclaimed property reporting liability and interest due on amounts due and owing
as determined by the division within 30 calendar days.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 556.23.
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