Michigan unclaimed money: How to check if you're owed cash, property

Michigan has millions of dollars in unclaimed money that is waiting for its owner to claim it.

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.

Claiming property

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.

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