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Hidden Wealth: Uncovering Unclaimed Funds

Hidden Wealth: Uncovering Unclaimed Funds

Hidden Wealth: Uncovering Unclaimed Funds 2560 950 Waterford Bank NA

Christopher Macino, SVP, Private Banking

Every year, countless Ohioan and Michiganders overlook valuable assets lying dormant in unclaimed funds. From forgotten checking accounts and utility deposits to last paychecks, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds and the Michigan Department of Treasury are on a mission to return these lost treasures.

What Are Unclaimed Funds

Unclaimed funds are resources that have remained inactive for years (typically three to five) or whose rightful owner cannot be located. This leads businesses and banks in our area to report them to either the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds (ODCDUF) or the Michigan Department of Treasury (MDT).

Man finding money in his wallet.

Claiming unclaimed funds is generally free, if you do it yourself through the official state or federal agency holding your funds. You worked hard for it in the first place, now get it back.

These funds can include a bank account, uncashed checks, rent or utility deposits, undelivered stock certificates, uncashed insurance policies, and even undelivered stock certificates. Unclaimed, forgotten, or lost, the ODCDUF works hard to track down the rightful owner and reunite them with their money.

The Impact of Unclaimed Funds

In Ohio alone, the ODCDUF saw more than 4.3 million searches for unclaimed funds in 2023. These searches led to more than 43,000 claims being filed and more than $139 million was returned to Ohioans in 2023.

The ODCDUF was even featured on Good Morning America, where they visited the Ohio State Fair and helped attendees find more than $322,000 in missing money during the duration of the fair.

In Michigan, the MDT has reunited residents with over $600 million in unclaimed funds over the last 5 years.

A sweet reunion could also be in your future if you take a few minutes to look.

Finding and Claiming Funds

If you think you may have funds lost out there, you can be proactive in finding out. 

Ohio residents can search for their possible unclaimed funds by visiting the Division of Unclaimed Funds’ website at https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/unclaimed-funds/claiming-funds.

Michigan Residents can search for unclaimed property by visiting the MDT’s website at: https://unclaimedproperty.michigan.gov/app/claim-search.

Couple finds unclaimed funds through the computer.

Finding unclaimed funds can be like searching for hidden treasure that’s rightfully yours. Be sure, you always use secure and official websites to conduct your searches.

The Search Process

From here, it takes a few steps to see if you have any money out there and start the process to obtain it:

  1. After clicking your state’s respective link above you will be taken to the ODCDUF or MDT Page. From here click the “Find Your Funds” button.
  2. You’ll be brought to a Missing Money search page where you can enter your name, city, and state. Remember to check all areas you’ve lived in, as well as maiden and married last names. Then click the “Search” button.
  3. Results will now populate below. The list will show the owner’s name, the name of the reporting business, and some other identifying information. It will also show the amount of unclaimed funds. If you see yourself on the list click the “Claim” button beside your record.
  4. You will then need to enter some contact information, provide an eSignature, and check a box to agree to the organization’s terms and conditions.
  5. Finally, your request will be submitted to the ODCDUF or MDT. Pending verification of your information, you will receive an email with an attached claim form. The claim form must be completed and returned. You can find a checklist to help you complete the paper claim form at: https://com.ohio.gov/divisions-and-programs/unclaimed-funds/claiming-funds/claimant-resources/claim-form-instructions.

The Claim Process

Again, this is a two-step process, finding your unclaimed funds (outlined above) and then submitting a claim for them. You may also need to send supporting documentation with your claim form including, proof of address, a copy of your ID, proof of Social Security Number, etc.

You can upload claim forms online to ODCDUF at https://unfdupload.com.ohio.gov/Claimant or mail them to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds at 77 South High St., 20th Fl, Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108.

In Michigan, upload claims to the MDT at https://unclaimedproperty.michigan.gov/app/claim-doc-upload or mail them to Unclaimed Property Michigan Department of Treasury PO Box 30756, Lansing, MI 48909.

It’s important to note that claims can take up to 120 days to review once you return your claim form, but there are no fees to claim your unclaimed funds.  

Funds Await

Unclaimed funds may make a significant difference in your financial health. And thanks to the ODCDUF and MDT it’s easy to find what is rightfully yours. Even if you don’t have funds listed now, you could soon. So, make it a practice to regularly check for unclaimed funds.

With just a few clicks, you could unveil unexpected financial resources.

About the Author

Private Banker, Chris Macino

Christopher Macino is a Vice President of Private Banking at Waterford Bank, N.A. in Toledo, Ohio. His banking career spans over three decades. In that time, he has built a wealth of experience handling the personal needs of corporate executives, business owners, and professionals.

Outside of the Bank, he has served on the St. John’s Jesuit High School Finance Committee since 2011. He also conducts financial education classes for various schools and has been a member of the Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corporation Executive Committee since 2022.

If you’d like to connect with Chris or learn more about Private Banking, please contact us here.

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