Unclaimed Money Wisconsin: How to Find Unclaimed Money in Wisconsin
October 26, 2022
Every year in Wisconsin and the remaining states that make up the federation, more than $3 billion in unclaimed money is returned to their rightful owners.
As of 2020, Forbes put the amount of unclaimed money being held by several state authorities in the United States at $49 billion.
According to the United States government, unclaimed money is any money owed to an individual by a business, government office, or other sources that the owner has not collected.
This further includes other things such as money orders, checks, cash, security deposits, and even the contents of private safe deposit boxes.
In Wisconsin, the full list of what qualifies as unclaimed property includes the following:
Savings or checking accounts Stocks and mutual funds Uncashed dividends Certificates of deposits Customer deposits or overpayments Refunds Credit balances Uncashed death benefit checks Matured life insurances
All these items are covered under a broader umbrella term: unclaimed property. In Wisconsin, after a period of time ranging between 1-3 years, the property is filed as unclaimed.
Wisconsin Online Database for Unclaimed Money
To support legitimate claimants in their quest to find unclaimed money or property, the state of Wisconsin, via the office of the State Treasurer, enacted the Wisconsin Unclaimed Property Law in 1970.
With the passage of the law came the implementation of a program to that effect, spearheaded by the Department of Revenue.
The program mandates all businesses operating in Wisconsin to report all unclaimed money in their custody to the department after one to five years of inactivity.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue does its part by maintaining a searchable online database for unclaimed property across the state.
Through this database, claimants can carry out operations such as "search and claim," "check claim status," and "upload claim documents."
On the search and claim page, there are two options for visitors to use. One is the Search by Name form, where interested applicants must input their last or business names, first names, and middle names.
For businesses, you can use variations of the business name to expand results. The second form on the page is Search by ID. Again, interested applicants are required to input their property ID to complete a search.
Asides from its clear benefit of helping citizens reunite with their unclaimed property, the program also frees such businesses of the responsibility of bearing unclaimed property on their financial records.
The Department of Revenue allows all prospective owners of unclaimed assets to file claims online using its e-claim service.
However, claimants who find their unclaimed properties in Wisconsin Department of Revenue's database will first provide the answers to a several questions on the website before being able to file their claim.
To start searching, an applicant must locate the property and hit the select button to claim it. The item selected will be displayed at the top of the page.
The claimant will then click on the 'claim properties' button, an action which will redirect them to another page asking if a locator or a locator service is behind the claim.
After that, claimants must complete the e-form made available on the page and select the option requesting the description of how they are related to the asset.
For example, if the property is yours, you are required to select the 'reported owner' option available in the description box.
Next, you will provide more personal information to the DOR to show proof of ownership or relationship.
This includes full names, social security numbers, state driver's license ID, date of birth, phone number, email address, and current home address.
The DOR will also require proof in the form of documents that validate the provided information, such as proof of residency and vital records. Interested applicants can also contact the DOR via this address:
Wisconsin Unclaimed Property Department of Revenue PO Box 8982 Madison, WI 53708-8982
Aside from the Wisconsin treasury department, claimants can also search various databases and agencies.
You can't file claims with federal agencies such as HUD and NUAPA. On the contrary, they are responsible for helping their people locate unclaimed property, after which they must follow the state's claim policy.
Some of these agencies include:
* Bureau of Fiscal Services * The United States Bankruptcy Unclaimed Fund locator * The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators * The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
The state of Wisconsin Revenue Department does not just wait until claimants are ready to claim their property. Rather, it is proactive in helping to locate and reunite them with their funds.
The department makes attempts to match unclaimed property owners with the information available in the public records. If found, they are then notified to make the necessary claims.
The department also makes attempts to match identities and social security numbers of unclaimed money with available tax records to notify them of their unclaimed funds.
With the above resources, you do not need to contact any third-party company to help you find your unclaimed money, just follow the guide above, and you'll be home and dry without any hassles.
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