Wednesday, May 18, 2016

State treasurer encourages Joplin residents to check for unclaimed property

(From State Treasurer Clint Zweifel)

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) is encouraging residents in and around Joplin to check for Unclaimed Property, five years after a devastating tornado struck this community. Missouri laws require Unclaimed Property to be turned over to the State Treasurer’s office for safekeeping after certain statutorily defined periods of time, generally five years. This includes cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits, wages from past jobs and more. Treasurer Zweifel does not handle tangible property; unfortunately no personal items lost in the tornado are included in Unclaimed Property. There is currently more than $13 million of Unclaimed Property in 125,000 accounts for residents of Jasper and Newton Counties.

“In 2011, this community faced a tragedy with grace and determination,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “As the community has moved forward, many individuals and businesses have relocated or encountered other disruptions. With these changes, unfortunately there is an increased chance of losing track of some finances along the way. I encourage area residents, business and nonprofits to check for Unclaimed Property and to register for notifications should any property matching your information be turned over to my office.”

Missouri law outlines how businesses must turn over Unclaimed Property to Treasurer Zweifel’s office including a dormancy period, which is generally five years, except for those types of property listed below:

· 1 year – court bonds and disputed real estate escrow funds

· 3 years – dissolution of business; payroll; property held by governmental entities, political subdivisions, and state agencies; and demutualization, rehabilitation, or reorganization of insurance companies.

· 7 years – money orders

· 15 years – traveler’s checks

To help residents claim their Unclaimed Property, Treasurer Zweifel has installed a kiosk in the Jasper County license office which individuals can use free of charge to search for their property. The kiosk is connected directly to Treasurer Zweifel’s online Unclaimed Property database.

Joplin-area residents may receive postcards or see their names published in the newspaper in late June if they have Unclaimed Property. If they have any questions about these notifications, there is further information provided on Treasurer Zweifel’s website,, or they can contact the Unclaimed Property team at

Treasurer Zweifel protects nearly $1 billion of Unclaimed Property held in nearly five million accounts. Since taking office he has returned more than $250 million. Missourians can search for Unclaimed Property 24 hours a day at and in many cases complete the claims process entirely online. Individuals and businesses may also sign up to receive an email notification when new Unclaimed Property matching their information arrives.

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