Unclaimed money

How to get back unclaimed property or money in Iowa

The Iowa Treasurer of State’s office holds roughly $489 million in abandoned money or assets — and some of it could very well belong to you.

If you want to find out, it’s time to join the “Great Iowa Treasure Hunt” — a free process to search unclaimed property and assets that the state is holding until they can be reunited with their rightful owners.

Here’s what you need to know about unclaimed property, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, and how can you take part.

Where does Iowa’s unclaimed money come from?

Unclaimed property in Iowa comes about when a business, bank or other financial institution isn’t able to contact the owner of an asset. After a certain period of time (one and three years), the assets are declared “unclaimed” and sent to the treasurer’s office for safekeeping.

Forms of unclaimed assets and property can include:

  • Lost utility refunds or deposits,
  • Forgotten checking and saving accounts,
  • Uncashed insurance benefits and payroll checks,
  • Lost stocks, dividends and bonds, and
  • The contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes.

How do I search for unclaimed money in Iowa?

It’s easy (and free) to search the state’s unclaimed property database online. Go to GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov.

There, you’ll be asked to enter your last name or the name of a business, as well as an optional first name. If you need to further narrow your search, you can also enter a city. And if you’ve received notice from the treasurer’s office or have a property ID, you can enter that as well.

Listings can include the owner’s name, address, which entity reported the asset and what type of property it is, as well as its value.

How do I file to claim the abandoned money or property?

You can file claims on multiple listings at once and must specify in which capacity you’re claiming the asset: as yourself, as the administrator or executor of an estate, as a legal heir, or as an open or closed business.

To file a claim, you must provide your contact information, including an email address and phone number.

Providing your Social Security number or tax ID is not required, but the department may require you to submit it before an approved claim can be paid.

After you create a claim, the state will send you an email containing your “claim ID” number and a list of required documentation to complete your claim. You can upload those documents online at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt’s website.

How many people have unclaimed property in Iowa?

More than $338 million has been returned to 918,000 property owners in Iowa so far, according to an April report from State Treasurer Roby Smith’s office.

According to the treasurer’s office report, “approximately one in 10 people have unclaimed property waiting for them.”

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