State has $600 million in unclaimed property, is some yours?

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Nearly 1 in 20 Minnesotans has more than $100 in unclaimed property being held by the State of Minnesota.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Prince, Sid Hartman and state Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson are among the more than 50,000 people with property being held by the state Department of Commerce.

According to the Star Tribune, the lost and found has more than doubled since 2005 to $606 million. The stash includes things like dormant bank accounts, uncashed death benefits, untouched shares of stock, old utility deposits and even items from safe-deposit boxes, which companies are required to turn over to the state.

According to the department's own numbers, the unclaimed property unit has returned about 31-percent of the unclaimed property to its rightful owners.

Why is there only a 31 percent return rate on the missing property?

The Commerce's chief of staff and deputy commissioner, Emily Johnson-Piper, admits the department doesn't do a lot to find them.

"We don't, as a matter of normal course, go through a list of people that we have and try to find them," Johnson told the Star Tribune. "Presumably, people have already tried to find these people and they can't."

The state maintains a searchable website at missingmoney.com where people can go to check to see if the state has any money or property belonging to them.

Those individuals then can file a free claim to reclaim their property.

Just last week, the department also encouraged Minnesotans to stop by their booth at the state fair for Unclaimed Property Day. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says they are focusing their efforts on helping Minnesota consumers get the property and money that's rightfully theirs.

"Through proactive measures that assist business understand the importance of keeping good records of their customers to avoid having unclaimed property in the first place – to creating awareness of the program and reuniting missing money with their owners."

The Star Tribune also has put together a list of individuals and companies with property being held by the state.

So what does the state do with the rest of it?

According to the newspaper, the money goes directly into the state's general fund with no strings attached unless the rightful owners come forward to claim it.

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