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Maine Unclaimed Money
What is Unclaimed Money in Maine?
Unclaimed money in Maine refers to financial assets turned over by national and local businesses and organizations to the state treasury. These financial assets are presumed to be abandoned when their apparent owner does not claim them during a specified period (also referred to as the dormancy period). These financial assets include traveler’s checks, money or credit owed, bonuses, commissions, wages, money orders, and reimbursements amongst others. Under section 2061 of Maine’s Revised Unclaimed Property Act, different types of unclaimed money have varying dormancy periods. Some examples of different types of unclaimed properties and their dormancy period include; traveler's checks 15 years after their issuance, money orders seven (7) years after their issuance, and wages one (1) year after they become payable.
Maine State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Progam is in charge of holding unclaimed properties in the state until they are claimed by their rightful owners or heirs. Maine’s Revised Unclaimed Property Act dictates how unclaimed properties are handled as well as the dormancy period for unclaimed financial assets in the state. When a financial asset dormancy period has been exhausted, the state’s Unclaimed Property Act requires that it is reported to the state treasury. Subsequently, the state treasury would add it to a government list of unclaimed money that is made publicly available.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Maine
Using Maine’s State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Progam database, the general public can search for unclaimed money and unclaimed properties in Maine. This database contains information on ten or millions of dollars worth of unclaimed assets reported to the state treasury each year.
To perform a search, interested members of the public would need to fill out at least one of the input fields on the search page. There are five separate input fields on the search page namely; last or business name, first name, city, zip code, and property ID. For the best results, inquirers are advised to provide the ‘Last/Business Name’ and ‘First Name’ attached to the unclaimed money. The unclaimed money owner may have received a notice mail containing their property’s ID number (PID), in which case, they may provide that number in the property’s ID field and leave the rest blank.
As an alternative, general unclaimed money inquiries may be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (888) 283-2808, by fax at (207) 287-2367, or in person or by mail at:
Office of the State Treasurer
39 State House Station
Burton M. Cross Office Building, 3rd Floor
111 Sewall Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0039
How Do I Find Maine Unclaimed Money for Free?
Maine’s State Treasury Unclaimed Property Progam search page is free to use. Aside from the state’s unclaimed property program, several federal agencies may also retain different types of unclaimed money indefinitely or within a timeframe until they are claimed by their rightful owners. These federal agencies also provide different free-to-use online databases that can be searched by the general public to find this unclaimed money and properties. Some of these databases and their respective federal agencies include:
- Unpaid wages; If an employer breaks labor laws, the Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division may help employees recover back wages. These wages are added to the DOL database for up to three years after its recovery. If after three years the employee has not been found or claimed these unpaid wages, the money would be sent to the U.S treasury. To begin a search using the DOL database, employees may be searched by the name of their employer and may filter the search result by a state. For further inquiries, the Wage and Hour Divison may be reached at 1-866-4-US-WAGE or ((866) 487-9243). Alternatively, any of their local offices may be visited between Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m in person.
- Money from insurance; Current and former policyholders or their beneficiaries who the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs owes unclaimed insurance funds may find these funds for free using the VA life insurance funds database. This database includes funds from insurance programs such as the United State government life insurance, national service life insurance, Veterans Special Life Insurance, Veterans Reopened Insurance, and Service-Disabled Life Insurance. Note that, unclaimed funds from Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) policies from 1965 to the present are not included in the database. On the database, searches are made by providing a veteran’s name.
For unclaimed FHA insurance funds, inquirers may search the U.S Department of Housing and Developments (HUD) database. FHA insurance funds are issued by the HUD to Individuals (or their beneficiaries) who had an FHA-insured mortgage. Claimants may search the HUD database for free by using their case number - for example, 042-587189.
- Money from tax refunds; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) maintains several free means through which unclaimed or undelivered tax refunds may be found. Inquirers can review their refund information on their online account, download the IRS2Go app, or use the online refund status portal. Items that inquirers may need to use any of the aforementioned means include their SSN or ITIN, the exact refund amount, and their filing status.
Furthermore, the official website of the United State government provides a helpful resources page about where other types of unclaimed money may be found and how to claim them.
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Maine
There are mainly four steps involved in filing a claim for unclaimed money in Maine.
- Step 1 - search for unclaimed money or properties:
Using the unclaimed property program search page (link above), members of the public may search for unclaimed money or asset currently held by the state treasury. On the search page, a total of five (5) input fields are provided, the first being “last or business name” which must be filled to perform a search. Other input fields may be filed to narrow down the search results. These input fields include the unclaimed money owner’s first name, city, zip code, and property ID. Once an inquirer has found item(s) belonging to them, they may click on the claim button at the extreme left of each item to select the item. After selecting the relevant item(s), to proceed, the inquirer may then click on the continue to file claim button located at the top of the search results to begin the claim process.
- Step 2 - submit a claim.
Clicking on the continue to file claim button would lead the inquirer to a review page where they can review the unclaimed item(s) they previously selected. For each item, the inquirer (claimant) would need to select their relationship with the item(s) owner(s). For this, seven (7) different options are provided to choose from namely self-sole, personal representative, heir, business owner-open, business owner-close, legal representative, and trustee. located at the top of the review page with the title claimant relationship description each option is explained in detail. Once each selected item(s) has been reviewed and the owner relation has been selected, the claimant may click on the file claim button to proceed to the claimant information page.
On the claimant information page, the claimant would need to enter their primary information. This information includes claimant type (business or individual), name, date of birth, email, phone number, social security number(SSN)/tax ID, country, address, city, state, and zip code. After filling out the required information, the claimant may click on the Next button located at the bottom or top of the page. Note that, An additional screen (address suggestion) may popup to verify the address provided. This ensures that the address provided by the claimant is a valid mailing address as that is where the funds would be mailed. Next, the claimant would need to review the item(s) being claimed as well as the primary information they provided. If accurate, the claimant may check the terms and conditions check box and fill out their first and last name to agree, and click on the submit button. This would officially create the claimant's claim and generate their claim number.
- Step 3 - complete the claim.
An email would be sent to the email address provided by the claimant. In this email, specific additional information that may be required to process the claimant’s claim would be listed in a claim form. This information may include a copy of a form of photo identification such as a driver's license and social security card. To complete the claim, the required documents would need to be mailed to the Office of the State Treasure at:
Office of the State Treasurer
Attn: Unclaimed Property
39 State House Station,
Augusta, ME 04333-0039
- Step 4 - track the claim progress. Using the claim-status-search portal, claimants can enter their claim ID periodically to check on the most recent status of their claims. A claimant's claim ID can be found on the claim form in the email they received when they submitted their claim. If a claimant has forgotten or misplaced their claim ID, they may contact the unclaimed property division.
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Maine?
In Maine, claims for unclaimed money may be processed within a few weeks after which the claimed item would then be issued to its respective claimant. Note however that the procedures involved in processing claims for estates or stock properties are occasionally complex and may take longer. Furthermore, using their claim ID, claimants may track the progress of their claim on the claim-status-search portal (link above).
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Maine?
If the owner of an unclaimed asset dies, the most appropriate persons who may file a claim for their unclaimed money include their surviving spouse, personal representative, or immediate heir. Maine’s probate law defines an immediate heir as persons (including the surviving spouse) entitled to the property of a descendant under the statutes of intestate succession.
To make a claim, an entitled person would need to complete and submit an affidavit and agreement supporting the claim for the deceased unclaimed asset along with their claim form. Depending on the case specifics, additional documents may be required. In which case, these documents may be requested in writing. It should be noted that checks are typically made payable to the estate of the deceased, not the claimant.
What Happens to Maine Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
There is no time limit in which unclaimed money is held by Maine State Treasury. As such, unclaimed money is held indefinitely at no cost to its owners until they are claimed. If an individual can prove that they are the rightful owner of unclaimed money in the possession of the state, the money would be returned without charge. The state should be contacted (link above) if someone wants to charge a fee for finding unclaimed money as this service is provided by the state charge free.