By Jedidiah McKeehan
Would you like to see if there is money being held by the state of Tennessee to which you are entitled? It will take less than 5 minutes! If you visit the website, claimittn.gov, you can search the state’s database to see if you are entitled to unclaimed property.
The state of Tennessee is currently holding over $994 million (not a misprint) in funds and want to provide these funds to their rightful owners. How can this be? How is this even a thing?
Tennessee Code Annotated Title 66, Chapter 29 is the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act and it goes in to great detail about how these funds are sitting there in the state coffers waiting to be claimed. Let me simplify it for you though, with some help from the state’s website.
First, let’s define, “unclaimed property.” Unclaimed property is accounts in financial institutions or companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or longer. Unclaimed property may include refunds, un-cashed payroll checks, stocks, utility security deposits, and many other forms. Currently, the only tangible property that the state of Tennessee keeps is military service medals.
If a specified amount of time has passed (typically 1–3 years) and the company holding your money has not been able to return your asset or make contact with you, then the property becomes abandoned. At the end of that period of time, the company is required to attempt to notify you in writing to prevent the property from being turned over to the State as unclaimed property or to allow you to claim your asset directly from the company.
Pursuant to Tennessee law, after the specified time has elapsed with no contact with the company, the property is then turned over to the Tennessee Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division.
Once the Tennessee Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division receives the unclaimed property, there it will sit until you come and get it! The unclaimed property can be claimed by the owner or their legal heir(s).
It is totally free to conduct an online search (claimittn.gov) and the state of Tennessee even sets up booths at local fairs with consoles set up so people can search and see if they have property available for claiming. A governmental entity trying to give you money! There is no time limit to claim your property, which is great, because my father found out he was entitled to a few thousand dollars from a couple of decades ago. In addition, there is no charge to claim your property through the Tennessee Department of Treasury. Go get your money!
Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including criminal, divorce, custody, personal injury, landlord-tenant, civil litigation and estate planning. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.