Unclaimed money in Minnesota hits record $711.5 million

The amount of unclaimed money being held by the State of Minnesota has reached a record $711.5 million, which is triple the amount held in 2005. One in 20 Minnesotans have more than $100 in unclaimed property, and two lawmakers say the state isn’t doing enough to put that money back into your pockets.

What is unclaimed property? Minnesota residents can lose financial property through a change of address, a death in the family or simple forgetfulness. The Commerce Department’s Unclaimed Property Unit is responsible for holding unclaimed property until the rightful owner or heir is found.

How do I know if I have unclaimed property? You can search your name at missingmoney.com, which is authorized by the state to list owners of unclaimed property.

What’s different this year? With unclaimed property at a record level, Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. James Metzen (DFL-South Saint Paul) have proposed a bill that would require the Commerce Department to make a stronger effort to reunite missing money with its rightful owner. In addition to the missingmoney.com listings, the legislation (H.F. 1693/S.F. 1645) would require:

- A posted list on the Department of Commerce website of all people appearing to be owners of abandoned property. The list would be updated at least 3 times per year.

- A list published in the newspaper of Minnesotans with abandoned property having a value of $500 or more. The list must be published at least once per year in the newspaper with the highest circulation in each county.

- The commerce commissioner to give each member of the legislature a list of everyone in their district with unclaimed property.