The Tennessee Treasury Department returned 41,827 claims of Unclaimed Property in FY 2016, marking a 28% increase over the year prior. This is the highest number of claims ever returned by the Department. More than $34 million was returned last year with an average claim amount of $817.
Unclaimed property is money that has been turned over to the State by businesses and organizations who cannot locate the rightful owners. Every year, millions of missing dollars are turned over, and the Tennessee Treasury Department works to get that money back to whom it belongs. In Tennessee, there is currently $789.2 million in unclaimed property still waiting to be returned.
The types of unclaimed funds that may be held include stocks, bonds, gift certificates, checks, unclaimed wages, refunds from utility or other companies, life insurance annuities that could not reach the beneficiary, and more. In Tennessee, the Unclaimed Property Division does not include real estate or physical items.
Treasury credits the significant increase in returns to the Unclaimed Property’s website: ClaimItTN.gov. This searchable online database contains all unclaimed property in Tennessee dating to the beginning of the program. You can visit www.ClaimItTN.gov to search for your name, and can file your claim online. Treasury recommends searching for common misspellings of your name and addresses as well.
There is no time limit in Tennessee to claim unclaimed property. It is held for the rightful owner or their legal beneficiaries until it is claimed. Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division works throughout the year using a variety of methods to track down the owners of these monies, and also provides a variety of ways for citizens to search for missing funds.
“We have put an emphasis on improving the efficiency of the Unclaimed Property program, which has allowed us to reunite even more people with their unclaimed funds over the last fiscal year,” said State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “We’re proud to offer this service to the people.”
The Tennessee Treasury Department provides the unclaimed property service to citizens completely free of charge and will never ask you to pay a fee to claim money that belongs to you. If you are asked to make a payment to process your claim for unclaimed property, be aware you are working with a company that is not affiliated with the Tennessee Treasury Department.
Once a claim is received, the Unclaimed Property Division dutifully verifies the funds are truly going to the correct person. The time needed to process claims will vary on the information provided; some claims can be returned in as little as two weeks, but others may take longer. The division does expedite claims filed through ClaimItTN.gov.
If you do not have internet access, you may call the Unclaimed Property Division at 615-741-6499 and we will start the claims process for you, and mail you a form to be completed. The appropriate documentation requested on the claim form will need to be mailed to the Unclaimed Property Division located in Nashville, TN.