What is Unclaimed Money in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Code Annotated § 66-29-101, et seq defines unclaimed property as intangible property or tangible property which has not been accessed by its owner for a statutorily stipulated time. Intangible properties include; unclaimed customer refunds, credit balance for overpayment, uncashed employee payroll check, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, uncashed dividends, utility security deposits, and gift certificates. Tangible properties include; military service medals and contents of safe deposit boxes. Tennessee does not consider properties like vehicles, land, and homes unclaimed or abandoned property.
The Tennessee Department of Treasury is the state agency managing and attending to unclaimed property reports or claims. According to state law, asset holders report unclaimed money in Tennessee to the Department of Treasury when there is a loss of contact with the owner for one year or more. After that, the Treasury Department assumes temporary ownership of the property until the legitimate owner comes forward to claim it — the goal is to collect, keep, and return the abandoned property to the rightful owner or heir.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Tennessee
The Unclaimed Property Division of Tennessee's Department of Treasury maintains an online database to help people find unclaimed money in Tennessee. Interested parties can review the government list of unclaimed funds by following the instructions displayed on the website.
There are two ways to find unclaimed money in Tennessee; interested parties can search by their first and last or company name or the property ID.
Tennesseans can also find abandoned assets by contacting the Unclaimed Property Division via email and by calling (866) 370-9429 or writing to:
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 190693
Nashville, TN 37219-0693
The State of Tennessee also helps public members locate their property through outreach efforts like hosting public events, mass mailing, and adverts. In addition, Tennesseans need to search the online database frequently because the Treasury Department updates its repository regularly.
How Do I Find Tennessee Unclaimed Money for Free?
The Department of Treasury lists unclaimed property as a free service, meaning anyone can search for unclaimed money on its database. Tennesseans are also advised to extend their property search to other websites maintained by federal agencies. These agencies keep records of unclaimed funds as it pertains to them. For example, the US Bankruptcy Court maintains records of unclaimed bankruptcy assets. It provides the U.S. Bankruptcy Unclaimed Funds Locator, a free search tool that helps the public find unclaimed money.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NUAPA) also holds records of multiple unclaimed properties across all states. It is helpful for people who wish to conduct a nationwide property search. Other agencies like the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) keeps records of unclaimed pension benefits which can be requested for free; the US Department of Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service maintains a searchable repository that allows people to search for unclaimed matured savings bonds; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service helps people find unpaid life insurance claims by contacting its member companies for records; members of the public can also search the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for abandoned HUD refunds.
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Tennessee
To claim unclaimed money in Tennessee, property locators must input their first and last name, company name, or property ID in the website's search box. The search result will display the name and property ID matching the provided data. The owner's address will not be fully displayed; however, search results will reveal the city of the owner's last known address.
Upon finding a property, the next step is to begin the claim process. Enquirers can claim a selected property as a person or as a business and must certify their ownership of the property if claiming as an owner. Those who intend to claim a property on behalf of the owner can indicate so and will be asked a series of questions.
The next step is to complete the claim form, which mandates the claimant to sign the form. Requesters must also include the right address on the form and provide proof of residency, a valid means of identification, Social Security number, and any other document listed. The Treasury Department accepts driver's license, Tennessee State ID, or passport as means of identification. The claimant must also provide proof of ownership.
Joint owners, trustees, executors, and attorneys can also claim properties and will need to provide helpful information as required by the State's Treasury Department.
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Department of Treasury does not provide a specified time limit for processing claims. However, the state office assures the public that it will respond to claims and return money to the rightful owner as soon as possible.
Claimants can always track their claims by emailing the Unclaimed Property Division or calling (866) 370-9429.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Tennessee?
Under Tennessee's unclaimed property law, heirs and surviving family members, executors, and court-appointed probate administrators can claim unclaimed money from deceased relatives. Requesting parties will need to search the unclaimed property database as an heir and fill out the form provided for those who intend to claim abandoned properties on behalf of a deceased relative. They will also need to provide necessary documents that attest to their relationship with the deceased owner, such as; a marriage certificate, death certificate, and any other proof of relationship listed on the form.
What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Tennessee if No One Claims It?
According to Tennessee's Unclaimed Property law, the Treasury Department is a custodian of abandoned assets and will hold the unclaimed money indefinitely. As a result, there is no time limit for anyone to file a claim for an abandoned property held by the state. However, the law allows the Treasury Department to liquidate stocks within 12 months of receiving the abandoned property. The stock sale will be registered in the owner's name; the owner will receive the sale amount rather than the stock when they come forward to claim the property.
Can Someone in Tennessee Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. As property finders in Tennessee may have one or two properties that they can legally lay claim to in other states, interested individuals can search the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NUAPA) database for properties in those states. Property finders can also research the state's unclaimed property website to locate abandoned assets and belongings.
Every state has an unclaimed property law in place therefore, Tennesseans who locate their properties in another state will need to follow the guidelines set by the state's agency to file a claim. As is the case with the Tennessee Department of Treasury, the agency in charge of managing unclaimed money in another state will only return assets to people who provide substantial proof of ownership or relationship.