What Is Unclaimed Money in Michigan?
In Michigan, unclaimed money is money or cash equivalents belonging to a state resident that remains abandoned or untouched for a specific period of time, also known as the dormancy period. Unclaimed money is a type of unclaimed property and may be tangible (such as money left in safe deposit boxes) or intangible (account balances, stock dividends, mature bonds). Regardless of the form of the unclaimed money, the Michigan Uniform Unclaimed Property Act directs financial institutions to report to the Department of Treasury after the dormancy period elapses. In turn, the Michigan Department of Treasury has the responsibilities of compiling a government list of unclaimed money, finding the owners of unclaimed money, and processing valid claims to the Michigan Unclaimed Property Division. This state agency has paid over $400 million in unclaimed property - including unclaimed funds - to Michigan residents in the last five years. Any interested person may find unclaimed money and submit a claim following the official outlined procedure.
How To Find Michigan Unclaimed Money
The Michigan Unclaimed Property Division compiles and regularly updates a government list of unclaimed funds in Michigan. Interested persons who wish to find unclaimed money must visit the official website. This online platform lets searchers find unclaimed funds and unclaimed property and submit a claim. Alternatively, interested persons may contact the Unclaimed Property Division to submit a paper claim by mail or call the state agency to submit a claim by phone call. The best time to call the helpline is during regular business hours, as a rule of thumb. Persons sending a paper claim or inquiries by mail may submit at any time, but it is best to use US mail and send due as soon as possible. The address and contact information is as follows:
Unclaimed Property Division
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 30756
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 636-5320
Fax: (517) 763-0420
Unclaimed money in the United States is public and can be accessed by anyone through official or non-governmental services. Third-party unclaimed money search engines are easy to use and deliver fast results not limited by geographic region. Users can typically search for unclaimed money through third-party search sites using just a full name or business name. However, because these sites are not government-sponsored, the availability and accuracy of results can vary.
How Do I Find Unclaimed Money for Free in Michigan?
Besides the Michigan government list of unclaimed money, which is free to use, interested persons may use other official resources to find and claim unclaimed money for free. Persons who have unclaimed money in other states, with a federal agency, or even outside the county, may find the following resources beneficial.
Unclaimed State Tax Refunds
The Michigan Department of Treasury refunds taxpayers who overpay taxes. These refunds often go unclaimed when a taxpayer fails to check their refund status for several tax seasons or intentionally postpones claiming the refund. These taxpayers may find unclaimed refunds using their social security number and the tax year. The portal also lets Michigan taxpayers file a claim online.
Unpaid Back Wages and Salaries
The Wages and Hours Division of the Department of Labor compels employers involved in unfair employment practices to repay the due amount. Then, the agency notifies and pays the affected employee. However, this money often remains unclaimed by the employee. Interested persons may find unclaimed back wages and salaries by searching the unclaimed money database. Alternatively, call the Division on (866) 487-9243 or visit the local office in Michigan.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) takes over retirement benefits payments for Americans who lose or risk losing their retirement benefits due to employers' bankruptcy, company merger, and splits. Concerned persons may use the information in the PBGC guide to find their pensions or check the database for unclaimed pensions. Alternatively, persons who think they have unclaimed pensions may contact the PBGC at:
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4026
Phone: (800) 326-5678
Unclaimed Veterans' Life Insurance Funds
The veterans' life insurance fund ensures service members and their dependents receive regular checks following a disability, injury, or death. Uncollected payments become unclaimed money after three years. Concerned individuals can find these unclaimed insurance benefits by searching the Department of Veteran Affairs database or contacting the agency using the information below:
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Local office directory
Phone: (800) 827-1000
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
Interested persons may find unclaimed federal tax refunds by searching the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refunds database. Alternatively, the taxpayer may visit the local IRS office (see local office directory) or call the IRS helpline on (800) 829-1040.
Unclaimed Credit Union Deposits
Credit unions are financial institutions that offer traditional banking services to members. These members operate accounts for making deposits and loan repayments. When an account becomes inactive, the credit union shall report the deposits in the account as unclaimed money. It is still possible to collect this unclaimed money by searching and filing a claim on the National Credit Union Administration database for unclaimed credit union deposits. Alternatively, contact the administration via:
National Credit Union Administration
4807 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 5100
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 231-7900
Fax: (512) 231-7920
Unclaimed Harmed Investors' Funds
In cases of securities fraud, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seizes the financial and non-financial assets of the entities involved and sets up a third-party funds administrator to repay harmed investors. Money for investors who failed to collect payments within three years will be reported as unclaimed money. These investors can later find and claim these funds by searching the US Securities and Exchange Commission database. Alternatively, visit the regional office or call the helpline.
US Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549
Regional offices directory
Phone: (202) 551-6551
Unclaimed Funds in a Foreign Country
US nationals covered under government-government settlement agreements for compensating owners of lost property and surviving relatives may find unclaimed payments on the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission database. Alternatively, contact the government agency on:
Unclaimed Matured Savings Bonds
Bonds and accrued interests are generally reported as unclaimed money when the investor or authorized representatives fail to liquidate the investment within three years of maturation. These individuals may find and process payment for unclaimed bonds by searching the US Treasury Department database. Alternatively, contact the government agency on (844) 284-2676 and (202) 622-2000. Claimants may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unclaimed Bankruptcy Funds
Court-appointed trustees are responsible for notifying creditors regarding debt repayment and inviting creditors to submit proof of claim. In cases where a creditor fails to submit a claim within three years, the trustee shall report the money as unclaimed. The creditor and authorized representatives can still find and process payment for these funds using the US Courts Unclaimed Funds Locator. It may also aid the search to contact the bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy case was adjudicated:
US Bankruptcy Courts
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, DC 20544
Unclaimed Mortgage Refunds
Homeowners with a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage may have unclaimed refunds after the Department of Housing and Urban Development refunds payments or sends distributive share payments. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a search tool that parties can use to search for unclaimed premium refunds and share payments. Or, parties can contact the government agency at:
451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
Phone: (800) 697-6967
How To Claim Unclaimed Money in Michigan
Summarily, claiming unclaimed money in Michigan is divided into three phases:
- Performing the search
- Filing the claim(s) with supporting documents
- Reviewing and approval or denial
First, the searcher must visit the Unclaimed Property Division website to perform a name-based search for unclaimed money. Querying the database with a name will pull relevant search results and present them as a list with a prompt to claim. Generally, persons who perform a name-based search for unclaimed money can expect to see the owner's full name, last known location, amount unclaimed, and the holder's name. Users may click on as many search results applicable to them before proceeding to the second phase.
The second phase begins when the user selects the "continue to file a claim" button at the bottom of the screen. Here, the system will prompt the searcher to provide their relationship to the unclaimed money - original owner, heir, or third party. Next, claimants will be required to provide personal information, including their social security number, contact details, and current physical address. The system then asks the claimant to certify the information provided is correct under the penalty of perjury.
Finally, the system passes the online claim on to an administrative staff who reviews and approves or rejects the claim based on the information provided in the online form. If approved, the individual will receive a check for the equivalent amount of unclaimed money and any accrued interest if applicable. The Unclaimed Property Division will contact persons whose claims are rejected and request that they upload specific documents supporting their application. Supporting documentation may include driver's license, vital records, or a court order.
Meanwhile, persons who prefer a paper claim can use the unclaimed money application form. The form also includes instructions for filing a claim, depending on the claimant's status or relationship, as well as the supporting documentation to provide.
How Long Does It Take To Get Unclaimed Money in Michigan?
The average time from filing a claim to receiving a payout from the Department of State Treasurer is 60 days for online claims and up to 120 days for paper claims. Ultimately, the processing time depends on the types of claimants, the volume of applications received, and if the claimant provided the correct information.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Michigan?
The natural heirs of persons with unclaimed money and surviving relatives - such as nieces, nephews, parents, uncles, and aunts - may claim unclaimed money from deceased relatives in Michigan. These individuals may also hire a professional or an attorney to recover unclaimed money on their behalf. Likewise, executors of the deceased's will and court-appointed probate administrators can claim unclaimed money on a deceased relative's behalf. Regardless of who files a claim for unclaimed money, state regulations require third-party claimants to provide supporting documentation before the Unclaimed Property Division processes claims.
What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Michigan if No One Claims It?
Unclaimed money is turned over to the State Department of Treasury after a length of time elapses - typically 25 years. However, before absorbing unclaimed money, the state agency will try to locate persons who can submit a valid claim. Only when extensive efforts fail will the government absorb unclaimed money.
Can Someone in Michigan Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. Persons currently living in Michigan but who have financial accounts in other states are also likely to have unclaimed money in those states. These individuals must follow the state's process for finding unclaimed money and filing a claim. Most states maintain online government lists of unclaimed money like Michigan does. However, the filing process may differ - certain states require claimants to submit paper claims in a self-addressed envelope, along with the necessary documents. In any way, filing a claim for unclaimed money is free.