Regarding Unclaimed Property, how long does a state keep the monies or property sent to them? Do they keep it indefinitely?


States hold escheated property indefinitely in theory until rightful owners claim it. In reality, only between 15 to 35 percent of escheated property is ever claimed (we've seen various estimates, and it varies by state). Many states convert tangible property and securities to cash through sales and auctions. Interest on the property provides revenue to the states, and some states also spend the "principal" represented by that percentage of collected property that statistically won't be claimed.

The 2007 injunction in California may slow the states' use of escheated property, however. Since the California case, other states' programs are undergoing review. The court in California has forced the state to change its procedures to include greater effort to contact property owners.

The effect on other state laws and policies remains to be seen.

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