What happens when you are owed money, but for whatever reason the issuer of that money is unable to find you?  Do they get to keep it?  Does it follow the rules of Finder-Keepers?  Nope!  By law they are required to attempt to get you that money.  If they are unable to coordinate with you to receive this money in a certain time frame (typically 3 years), they must then send it to the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office – Unclaimed Property Division.

“The State of Nevada is the custodian of over 600 million dollars in unclaimed property. This property could be a financial asset owed to an individual or a business, including securities, bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, utility deposits, insurance proceeds, gift certificates, and other items specified in Nevada Revised Statutes 120A. Property is presumed abandoned when there has been no activity or no contact with the owner for a specific period of time. The property type determines the abandonment period, but it is typically one to three years. When the “holder” of the property unsuccessfully attempts to locate the original owner, the assets must be escheated to the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office, in accordance with NRS 120A. The Treasurer’s Office is charged with safeguarding the value of these assets in perpetuity. The original owner or heir never loses the ability to claim the property value.” (www.nevadatreasurer.gov).

So how does it work?  There are many ways in which your money may have landed in Unclaimed Property; but here is an example.  Let’s suppose you move to another house.  In the midst of your move, you decide to cancel your Charter Communications Account in favor of Dish Network at the new place.  Now let’s also suppose when you cancel the Charter account, you have a credit on your account.  If Charter doesn’t have your new address, they may send a check to your old house for the credit amount.  If they are unable to reach you, they will eventually remit payment to the Unclaimed Property program, where it will be safeguarded indefinitely until you claim it.

This program pertains to all entities in Nevada or (outside of Nevada), which hold unclaimed property for Nevada Residents.  Most commonly, this includes Attorneys, CPAs, Medical Professionals, Banks, Businesses, Utilities, and Government Agencies.  Rarely does this pertain to individuals.  That would typically land in the Civil Law category.

So then what happens to tangible items like in a safe-deposit box?  In the event that the unclaimed property in question is not financial in nature, but instead tangible items, the entity will remit the property to the State of Nevada for safekeeping.  However, the State will only hold that property for a period of time before it is sold at auction.  These auctions are held periodically at www.tntauction.com.  The proceeds from the sale are then held in perpetuity on behalf of the owner, until claimed.

Could you use a little extra money right now?  It is entirely possible, that you may have money sitting in the Nevada State Unclaimed Property Program.  Go to http://www.nevadatreasurer.gov/ to see if you have money waiting for you.  If you’ve lived outside the State of Nevada, you can also check https://www.missingmoney.com/.  You might just be surprised that you have money waiting for you!


Steve Scheetz joined YPN in June 2014 and is an active member in our Marketing & Website Committee.  He was born and raised in Northern Nevada, graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 and is currently a Management Analyst with the Nevada State Treasurer.