This story originally appeared in the Oregon Capital Chronicle and is republished here under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Read more stories at oregoncapitalchronicle.com.
Keep an eye on your mailbox, Oregon – the state Treasury is planning to send checks of up to $10,000 to people with unclaimed paychecks, security deposits, tax refunds or other unclaimed property.
Treasurer Tobias Read announced this week that the agency will proactively return approximately $10 million in unclaimed funds to current and former Oregonians. It’s a small fraction of the nearly $880 million in unclaimed property stewarded by the state, according to Eric Engelson, the Treasury’s public information director.
“We’re excited to return millions of dollars in unclaimed funds to their rightful owners,” Read said in a statement. “In-addition to collecting and safeguarding Oregonians’ unclaimed property, Treasury is committed to raising awareness across Oregon and offering easy, accessible ways for individuals to find and claim money owed to them.”
Oregonians and others can see if they have unclaimed property by checking unclaimed.oregon.gov. This property can include money from forgotten bank accounts or investment accounts, checks that were never cashed, unclaimed tax refunds or overpayments on utility bills.
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In most cases, Oregonians then have to file claims with the Treasury to receive their money. But this spring, the agency will send checks directly to some people with unclaimed property reported in 2018, 2019 or 2020. Property eligible for return is owned by a single person, is not an investment in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, ranges in value from $50 to $10,000 and was reported with the owner’s Social Security number.
The Treasury will notify recipients with letters a month ahead of mailing checks, and the first checks, for property reported in 2018, will be mailed in February. Checks for property reported in 2019 will follow in April, and checks for property reported in 2020 will be mailed in June.
Engelson said a few other states, including Louisiana and Illinois, have completed similar programs.