Money for reindeer and maybe even you

December 24, 2016 GMT

Nearly 350,000 names on Nebraska Treasurer’s unclaimed property list

LINCOLN — Do you know Dasher? The Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office has 40 of them in its unclaimed property database. How about Dancer? There’s 29 of them. And Prancer? Just one, in Omaha. You won’t find Vixen or Blitzen in the unclaimed property rolls, but you will find 67 Donners, two Comets and one Cupid who has almost $2,000 coming from Mutual of Omaha and whose last known address is in the British Virgin Islands. As for Rudolph, there are 44.

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg said the 350,000 names in the treasurer’s unclaimed property rolls include these famous reindeer and many other familiar names this time of year.

“For instance, our unclaimed property records show four listings under Christmas — individuals and businesses in Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue and Bridgeport. We also have 85 properties listed under the name Holiday, 75 under the name Joy, 43 with Jesus in their names and 22 listings under Merry, not to mention names like Santa, Snow and Holly,” Stenberg said.

“We encourage all Nebraskans, former Nebraskans and heirs to check our unclaimed property listing throughout the year and particularly this time of year to give themselves a holiday present. You never know what you might find. We currently are holding nine properties of more than $100,000 each. The top nine range from $1.2 million for a family trust in Omaha to more than $110,000 for a couple in Ansley and more than $100,000 for a Bellevue woman. During the holidays, property owners are equally grateful for smaller amounts, too,” Stenberg said.

“While we have been successful this year reaching out to property owners for whom we are holding significant amounts, because of the sheer volume we are unable to locate and contact all of them,” he added.

“In many cases, we are not provided sufficient contact information or our calls and letters go answered. Because of that, we rely heavily on individuals contacting us through our website, by telephone or by visiting our office in the State Capitol and at 809 P St. in the Lincoln Haymarket District.”

Stenberg also noted that as more Nebraska companies engage in global business, the unclaimed property staff is now searching for owners not only from across the United States but also internationally.

So far this year, the Treasurer’s Office has returned unclaimed property to owners in Japan, Mexico, Poland, the Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Stenberg said owners can search for unclaimed property anytime at treasurer.nebraska.gov. In instances in which property is $500 or less, owners may file claims online through the treasurer’s website.

More than $11.8 million was returned to owners in 2015, and a total of 15,368 claims were approved. With three weeks remaining in 2016, the office had exceeded last year’s totals.

So far in 2016, more than $13 million of unclaimed property has been returned, representing a total of 15,766 claims approved.

Altogether, the treasurer’s office is holding more than $170 million in unclaimed funds. Common forms of unclaimed property are uncashed paychecks, refunds, rental deposits, utility deposits, stocks, dividends, insurance payments, savings bonds, matured CDs and lost IRAs.

Ways to search for unclaimed property and file claims include the following:

» Check the Nebraska State Treasurer’s website at treasurer.nebraska.gov. Type a name in the box on the home page or click on the Unclaimed Property tab at the top of the page.

» For an amount less than $500, an owner may file a claim online through the website. The owner must include required information.

» For an amount greater than $500, an owner may complete the claim form found on the website and mail to the Nebraska Treasurer’s Office, Unclaimed Property Division, 809 P St., Lincoln, NE 68508-1390. The form must be notarized.

» Call the Unclaimed Property Division at 1-877-572-9688 toll free outside of Lincoln or 402-471-8497 in Lincoln. Phone calls are taken between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT on weekdays.

» Visit the unclaimed property office at 809 P St. in Lincoln or in the treasurer’s office in Suite 2005 of the State Capitol. Hours at both locations are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. An owner should bring a driver’s license and Social Security card.

» If filing on behalf of a deceased family member for an amount greater than $500, the owner should provide documentation to establish legal authority to file the claim including a will, death certificate, obituary notice, and personal representative documents.