Oregon Treasury Holds Over $10 Million in Unclaimed Funds

Michael Bordonada
Published Jan 24, 2024

Oregon Treasury Holds Over $10 Million in Unclaimed Funds



According to news from Salem, Oregon, last Tuesday, the Treasury department is set to return around $10 million in unclaimed funds to Oregon residents in the coming weeks. This news broke when Tobias Read, the Oregon Treasurer, announced that the state is starting a "Checks Without Claims" initiative for 2023. The gist is that the Treasury has been holding millions of dollars worth of unclaimed funds for citizens for many years, and no one has been claiming the money. So, the state is trying a new initiative in order to prompt people to claim these funds so that they do not simply sit around in the Treasury office. This is not only the largest disbursement of unclaimed funds by Oregon in history, but one of the largest disbursements of funds to happen in the United States.

The idea behind this initiative is twofold. First and foremost, awareness has to be raised among Oregonians to let them know that the Treasury may be holding money and property that belongs to them. There is so much distrust for the government in America that most Americans believe it's some sort of scam and that the government would never hold onto property or money for them. So, the news has to be pushed that these citizens might be owed money. The second thing this initiative accomplishes is that it safeguards people's money and property, by raising awareness for it in the Treasury and actually getting it out. In short, this means that the Treasury is going to mark this property and actually work to send it out, instead of just sitting on it.

The best thing this program accomplishes is that it seeks to locate Oregonians via the Treasury's efforts, rather than forcing Oregonians to actually contact the Treasury to check for unclaimed funds. Of course, the Treasury is still urging citizens to check in to see if they're owed any money or property. However, the Checks Without Claims initiative is all about the Treasury tracking people down and sending them the property claims and money that they're owed. This will start to happen in the first half of 2023, with mid February slated as the starting date.

February will be the start of the program's initial phase, where payments are disbursed to verified owners via state reports dating back to 2018. In other words, if you're a resident of Oregon and have verified funds in your name over the past four years, the state should theoretically send you a payment without you having to contact the office. You will simply need to verify your identity to ensure that you are in fact the person to whom the money/property is owed.

This initial stage will carry on through April, when 2019's records start; and on and on. Before the end of the year, the Treasury is confident that they can work through 2022 and get caught up on every Oregonian who may be owed property or money.

People will be notified via an official letter from the Treasury if they have any unclaimed funds held by the state. All an individual needs to do if they receive a letter is contact the Treasury and provide proof of their identity.
 

Check With Your Local State



This move by Oregon is a bit unprecedented insofar as the state Treasury itself is taking the initiative to send money out. Usually what happens is that the Treasury department in every state just sits on the funds, and it's 100% the responsibility of the individual to contact the Treasury to check for these funds. So the fact that Oregon's government is actually taking the initiative means that they're far more likely to get these unclaimed funds out to the people they belong to.

While your particular state may not be undertaking this sort of initiative, that doesn't mean that your state's Treasury doesn't have unclaimed funds for you in your name. If you're not in Oregon, however, you're going to have to take the initiative here and contact your particular state's Treasury office in order to check on your status. This isn't difficult to do, however. Just stop by in person to check, or give them a phone call. It's usually a very simple process whereby you will verify your identity and wait while the Treasury checks to see if you're owed any money or property.

All told, Treasury departments in America are sitting on billions of dollars in unclaimed funds for millions of Americans.

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