COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young says the state is looking to return over $65 million in unclaimed property to residents of Colorado Springs.

Unclaimed property is tangible or intangible property that has had no activity for a specific period of time. These can be gift certificates, unpaid wages, or uncashed checks. Unclaimed property also includes abandoned financial assets such as stocks and dividends, mutual funds, checking and savings accounts, securities, life insurance payouts, as well as the contents of safe deposit boxes for which the rent has expired for at least five years. This does not include real estate or vehicles.

Money from unclaimed property ends up with the State Treasurer’s office, which then attempts to reunite the property with its owner.

In the city of Colorado Springs alone, there are 576,662 claims available, representing $64,930,768 in cash, 433 tangibles from safety deposit boxes, and 36,731,451 shares available.

In El Paso County, there are 886,027 claims available, representing $97,560,579 in cash, 626 tangibles from safety deposit boxes, and 48,468,427 shares available. 

“There’s a chance – at least 1 in 10 – that there’s unclaimed property… with your name on it. And the Great Colorado Payback wants to make sure that you’re reunited with your money,” said Young who was also the former President of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

Young added, “It only takes 30 seconds to check to see if you have money waiting to be claimed.”

Money or property turned over to the State Treasury for safekeeping is held for the owner or heir of the account. There are no time limits for filing a claim.

Even businesses can lose track of property and payments, occasionally resulting in unclaimed property which can be claimed. Corporations, municipalities, schools, nonprofits, hospitals, and small businesses are listed among the many individuals whose assets are in the possession of the State.

The Colorado State Treasurer currently maintains a list of over 1.7 million names of individuals as well as businesses for whom property is available.

In the 2021 fiscal year, The Great Colorado Payback returned about $43 million to 23,462 claimants through the Unclaimed Property Division. Additionally, it instituted new rules to simplify the claims process, which included launching a pilot program that proactively returned funds. 

Unclaimed Property Laws

Unclaimed Property laws began in the United States as a consumer protection program and have evolved to protect not only the owners but also their heirs and estates.

According to the State Treasurer’s office, the organization holding the original obligation is required to make every effort to contact the owner and establish activity. If they are not able to make contact, that asset is reported to the state of the owner’s last known address.