Connecticut makes it easier to find forgotten funds
Feb. 1—We didn’t find our name on the state’s updated website for unclaimed property, but you could have money waiting.
Right now, people can claim up to $2,500 through a fast-track process. Claims worth more are not yet available for fast-track processing, but are available. Claim it, or it will remain in the state’s coffers.
The state treasurer’s office is trying to make it easier for people to reclaim unclaimed property — forgotten utility deposits or bank accounts, as well as dividends, cashier’s checks and other financial assets. According to a Tuesday announcement from State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, the state is enhancing its unclaimed property management system to make it more accessible.
The changes, announced on Feb. 1, otherwise known as “National Unclaimed Property Day,” allow people to search for their unclaimed property over the phone or online and keep track of their claim status. Before this change, people could only figure out what was going on with their claim by sending an email or calling during business hours. The treasurer’s office plans to increase outreach and local engagement by working with municipalities.
Claims in the state have gone up in recent years, with more people retrieving unclaimed property. Wooden said in a news release that the changes will make it easier for people to obtain their unclaimed property money.
“Connecticut residents can now look up their unclaimed property of any value at one cent or greater on CTBigList.com and check the status of their claims online,” Wooden said in the release. “Additionally, we’re in the process of eliminating the notarization requirement step and are expanding our new fast-track processing that allows eligible claims to be processed and paid in just several days. … From hardworking families to businesses and organizations, we want to help put unclaimed property money back in the hands of its rightful owners in the most effective and efficient way possible.”
The news comes after a recent report from the CT Mirror that found between 2000 and 2021, the state’s unclaimed property management system swept up $2.3 billion, only 37% of which was retrieved by owners. Money that stays unclaimed either goes into the state’s general fund or its public funding arm for elections, the Citizen’s Election Fund.
“By law, unclaimed assets must be turned over to the Office of the Treasurer if the holder of the assets can’t locate the rightful owner,” the release reads. “Holders of unclaimed property include businesses, financial institutions, and organizations holding dormant savings and checking accounts, uncashed checks, stocks, bonds, insurance proceeds, wages, and other financial assets. These assets are required by law to be turned over annually to the Office of the Treasurer after they have gone unclaimed (lost or forgotten) for three years or more. Once these assets are received by the Office of the Treasurer, the money is available to be claimed by the rightful owner at any time.”
There is no time limit for claiming these funds or property, according to the new website.