DETROIT (FOX 2) - More than $2 billion in unclaimed property, including cash, bonds, and more, is waiting to be claimed in Michigan.
These funds can be claimed by their rightful owner at any time, but on Feb. 1, Michigan Unclaimed Property, the state reminds residents of the money and urges them to check and see if they are owed anything.
This money and property is from dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes, and stock certificates. After assets are abandoned for a certain period of time, money is transferred to the Michigan Department of Treasury, where it can be claimed.
Amounts can range from $50 to thousands of dollars. Someone I know recently discovered more than $3,000 that belongs to them through the state's unclaimed property website.
How to search unclaimed property
Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury Unclaimed Property website.
Click "Get Started" and enter your name. You'll be brought to a page of unclaimed property under your name and similar names.
If you have lived in other states, you can search a nationwide database, too. Find that here.
Select the property you would like to claim, and enter the information needed, including your name, Social Security number, and address.
In some cases, the information provided in the first step is enough to approve your claim. In other cases, you will be asked to provide additional documentation to prove the money belongs to you. This could include a copy of your Social Security card or ID.
If you aren't sure if unclaimed property belongs to you or someone with the same name as you, you can still file a claim. The department will go through the verification to decide if it is you or someone else.
Once you provide all the necessary information and your claim is approved, the Department of Treasury will mail you a check.
You can also claim property by calling 517-636-5320.
Is there a charge to claim your property?
No. There is no charge. If you find yourself on a website that claims to return your property and is asking for payment - leave that site immediately.
The state of Michigan emphasizes that it does not charge for residents to claim their unclaimed property.
How to track your claim
Once you've made a claim and have not received your property, you can track the status.
After you've submitted your claim, you'll get a claim ID. Make sure you hang on to that as you'll need it to search on the state's page.
The state says some claims could take up to five approvals before the property is released, so you're encouraged to check back once you have your claim ID.