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A Guide to Unclaimed Property in NJ: Anything for Me?

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Government Entities, Professional Services

A chest with unknown contents.Personal finances are a source of stress for millions of people. It’s hard to keep track of bills, taxes, loans, and other financial obligations. When faced with debts, people can easily forget to consider the fact that they might be owed money themselves. Fortunately, the government has resources available to the public that helps identify unclaimed money. Money or property is “unclaimed” when a business, financial institution, or government owes money to an individual that (knowingly or unknowingly) did not collect it. Regardless of why you may not have collected money or property due to you, the process of searching the government database is easy.

Alternate Databases

The first step is getting to the right website. The Unclaimed Property Administration of the State of New Jersey can be found here. Each US State has its own website or process for searching through unclaimed property. If you live outside of New Jersey, use the map on this website from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to locate the appropriate place to search. Also note that not all unclaimed money/property can be found on any given database, including Government websites. Using a webpage from, you can look through a list of databases for the following types of potential sources of unclaimed property:

  • Employers (unpaid wages, pensions, etc.)
  • Unclaimed Insurance Money (VA life insurance funds, FHA insurance refunds, etc.)
  • Taxes (tax refunds, stimulus checks, etc.)
  • Investments (SEC enforcement funds, etc.)
  • Bank Failures (bank & credit union failures, etc.)
  • Savings Bonds
  • Bankruptcies
  • Individual Indian Money (IIM) Accounts

Property Lookup From the State of New Jersey

Once on the webpage for the Unclaimed Property Administration of New Jersey, navigate to the “claims” dropdown menu along the heading of the home page. The first result should be “search for unclaimed property”. You can also access this page using this link.

The search results can be narrowed down using multiple fields including name, city, zip code, and “property ID” (each unclaimed property/monetary amount is assigned a unique ID). Narrowing down the results can make it much easier, as only inputting the required ‘name’ field can yield hundreds of results across the state. You may be asked to answer one or multiple CAPTCHAs upon entering a new search in the database for security reasons.

The results will not tell you directly what the property/amount of money is for each property ID. In order to find out, you need to formally submit a claim to it. If you happen to find unclaimed property that appears to be under your name (or under a business/estate that you are responsible for), you have the option to file a claim. Click on the ‘claim’ button on the left side of the results table. From here, you are required to select your relation to the owner of the unclaimed property. The relation can be any of the following:

  • Owner – You are the reported owner of the property listed.
  • Heir – You are the rightful heir or the estate representative for the reported owner who is deceased.
  • Legal Representative – You are legally authorized to function on behalf of the reported owner. (Examples: Power of Attorney, Guardian, Custodian, Trustee)
  • Business – You are the authorized signatory of the business.
  • Creditor – You are the authorized signatory of plaintiff creditor authorized by statute or court order requesting unclaimed property belonging to a debtor.
  • Third Party Locator – You have entered into an agreement with the reported owner and are authorized to assist in the recovery of funds.

Whatever the reason may be for not initially claiming ownership, you will always have the ability to access unclaimed property through the correct channels. Part of what you can do to prevent property from becoming unclaimed is to set up proper estate planning. Trusts & Estate Planning can help make sure that assets are transferred securely, timely, and correctly. Bowman & Company LLP’s Commercial Services Department has many years of experience handling these matters. For more information on our services, contact our Partner John Culbertson, CPA.



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