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Property Locators

“Locators” are individuals or business not affiliated with the State of Tennessee that attempts to find the lost property owner and collect a fee from that owner in the process. Understanding the laws when a person or business can charge an entity to help them locate and claim their unclaimed property is vital. Whether you are the person or business interested in becoming a “locator” in Tennessee or you have been contacted by someone wanting to charge you for this service under the section “Property Locators” we have information to help you.


  • How to Become a Locator in TN
  • Finders Fees & Contracts
  • Submitting a Claim
The Treasury Department Division of Unclaimed Property does not regulate who can be a locator in Tennessee.  However, the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance administers the Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission.  The Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission has ruled that a locator must be a licensed private investigator.  If you are not a licensed private investigator you will need to contact their office at (615) 741-4827 or
Fees for research and locator services are subject to limits by statue.  Once you have located someone whose name is listed as having unclaimed property, a contract should be executed between yourself and that person.  The contract must state that the locator will charge no more than 10% of the value of property recovered or $50, whichever is greater.  All contracts must be approved by the Unclaimed Property Division as stated in TCA 66-29-122.
Once you locate the owner you are not to imply or infer that you are an employee of the Division of Unclaimed Property or contracted to work with the Division of Unclaimed Property.

When you submit the claim as a Locator to the Division of Unclaimed Property there are several items in addition to the required documentation found under Proving Ownership that we require before we can pay the claim. Please do not submit your claim unless you have everything we need. Listed below are the additional items we will need with every claim:

1. Documentation that you are a licensed private investigator with Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission.

2. A contract signed by both the claimant and the locator. It must list the owner/claimant's phone number and address as well as the locator's phone number and address. The contract must list the amount the locator is charging the owner with the dollar amount as well as the percentage.

3. All payments will be made directly to the owner/claimant and it is the locator's responsibility to collect their fee from the owner/claimant.