Are you among the 1 in 5 Utahns with unclaimed money?

Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks discusses unclaimed property as part of the office's webathon on Wednesday.

Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks discusses unclaimed property as part of the office's webathon on Wednesday. (Utah Office of the State Treasurer)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Is the state holding onto money that could belong to you?

In 2020, the Utah Unclaimed Property Division of the state treasurer's office received 500,000 properties totaling $52 million. In an attempt to reach the one in five Utahns who have unclaimed property, the division is hosting a six-hour webathon today to connect with Utahns and raise awareness.

Unclaimed property or money is turned over to the state of Utah after the asset has no activity by its owner for an extended period of time. The organization holding the unclaimed property or money will report it to the state with the owner's last known address after making a continued effort to contact the owner.

Unclaimed property or money can also belong to businesses. Last year, $6 million was paid out to businesses, according to the treasurer's office.

The unclaimed money can look like unclaimed wages or commissions; savings and checking accounts; stock dividends; insurance proceeds; underlying shares; customer deposits or overpayments; certificates of deposit; credit balances; refunds; money orders; and safe deposit box contents, according to the division's website.

Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks said in addition to unclaimed money, the division also has unclaimed rare coins, silver bars, pictures and a passport.

"Our team uses a variety of methods to return unclaimed money to rightful owners, including implementing aggressive outreach campaigns, leveraging technology and forging partnerships with charities, local government leaders and the news media," Oaks said in a statement. "We have an exceptional track record. During the last decade, we have more than quadrupled annual claims payments."

Among these efforts is the webathon which has had success in the past, Oaks said.

Last year's webathon resulted in 30,798 properties worth $6.5 million being claimed, including $1.4 million during the six-hour event. The division said it will be updating live statistics during the event by the hour to demonstrate how many properties are claimed, how man claims are processed and how much traffic the website receives during the event.

"Despite our innovations and accomplishments, we still take in more property each year than we can return," Dennis Johnson, Utah's unclaimed property administrator, said in a statement. "Every Utahn should go online at least once a year to find and claim their property — and check for family, friends, deceased relatives and organizations they support as well."

During the webathon, Rockland Bowlby, of Draper, shared that his son-in-law had visited the website and found unclaimed property under Bowlby's name. Bowlby visited mycash.utah.gov and claimed his property — which resulted in almost $4,700. After the division was able to verify Bowlby's claim and identity, he was sent a check in the mail for the amount.

Bowlby said he was able to use the money to visit his son who's been stationed in Italy with the Air Force for the first time in two years.

"There's so many scams out there. I think that's probably why a lot of people are skeptical and so you know all they have to do is just go to the website," Bowlby said. "You have nothing to lose to go check."

The division encourages Utahns during and after the event to share information on social media and invite their friends and family to check the website.

Unclaimed property division staff will be online during the event, until 5 p.m. Wednesday, and will help answer any questions or concerns regarding the process. Staff will also work to process claims during the event. But claims can be made anytime.

For more information about unclaimed property and to search the online database, visit mycash.utah.gov or call 801-715-3300. To watch the event visit treasurer.utah.gov/UPwebathon, or the Unclaimed Property Division's Facebook and YouTube page.

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Ashley Fredde covers human services and women's issues for KSL.com. She also enjoys reporting on arts, culture and entertainment news. She's a graduate of the University of Arizona.

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