Frequently Asked Questions
- What is "Unclaimed" or "Abandoned" property?
- How do Funds Become Unclaimed?
- Why is unclaimed property sent to the State?
- Is there a time limit for making a claim?
- Is there a fee for claiming unclaimed funds
held by the State?
- How can rightful owners prevent money from becoming
- How do I find out if I have unclaimed
property and file a claim?
- What documents will I need to verify that I
am the rightful owner?
- What does the State do with escheated funds?
- What does the state do to find unclaimed
- What is demutualization?
- How and why did the demutualization happen?
- How did my demutualization proceeds end up
on Connecticut's unclaimed property list?
- What happened to the insurance policy?
- How do I know if my insurance company has
gone through a demutualization? I have not heard from my
insurance company, what should I do?
What is done with the
original shares of securities that were reported to the Office
of the Treasurer in my name? Why am I only receiving the
proceeds of the sale of the securities?
- Are unused Gift Cards sent to the State as
- What is "Unclaimed" or
Unclaimed property is usually money,
and does not pertain to real estate of any kind, such as
land or homes. Property is considered unclaimed if someone
"other than the owner" holds the property and has not had
any contact with the owner for a set period of time, usually three to five years
for most types of property.
Unclaimed property may include:
- Inactive savings and checking accounts;
- Uncashed checks, such as payroll or refunds;
- Forgotten telephone or utility deposits;
- Inactive stocks and bonds;
- Life insurance policy proceeds
- How do Funds Become Unclaimed?
Funds are deemed unclaimed if there is no activity or
contact with the rightful owner for a set period of time,
generally 3 to 5 years. Before funds are transferred to the
State, banks and/or companies must perform due diligence to
find the owners. They must send a letter, by first
class mail, to the owner at the last known address on their
records. If the owner does not respond to the letter, the
property can be deemed unclaimed and sent to the State Treasurer
for safekeeping until the rightful owner comes forward to
claim the funds.
- Why is unclaimed property sent
Unclaimed Property is sent to the state annually by
various institutions such as banks, credit unions, insurance
companies, utilities and businesses in accordance with
Connecticut General Statutes section 3-65a. The Treasurer is
the custodian of this property until the rightful owner
comes forward to claim it. Unclaimed Property is sent to the
State Treasurer to protect your funds, centralize your
search efforts in locating property you lost contact with
and to prevent a windfall to the company or institution that
initially held your funds. The State does not assume
ownership of the unclaimed property. The property is
held in perpetuity until the owner or heirs come forward to
- Is there a time limit for
making a claim?
No, there is no time limit for claiming property that
rightfully belongs to you. The State Treasurer is custodian
of the money and holds the funds until they are claimed by the
rightful owner or their heirs. Property is held in
perpetuity until it is claimed.
- Is there a fee for claiming
unclaimed funds held by the State?
No, it is absolutely free! If at any time you can prove
the unclaimed property is yours, the Treasurer will return
it to you without charge. You do not need to hire someone to
locate your unclaimed assets.
- How can rightful owners prevent
money from becoming unclaimed property?
How do I find out if I have
unclaimed property and file a claim?
- Keep accurate financial records, including a current
record, in a safe and secure
- Keep a list of all bank accounts, stock
certificates, broker accounts, insurance policies,
utility and other deposits, and your safe deposit box
number in a safe secure location;
- Correspond with all financial institutions and other
account holders at least once a year. Make a
deposit or withdrawal from each account at least once a
year. Make sure
all accounts at any one institution are linked together;
- Cash all checks for dividends, wages and insurance
- Respond to any mail or due diligence forms from the institutions that hold
- If you move, notify all parties of your new address;
- If you stop receiving dividends on stock that you
own, contact the company
- Notify a family member or trusted advisor of the
location of your records.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
There are two ways to claim your money:
What documents will I need to
verify that I am the rightful owner?
You may look for your name in the
online listing through the Treasurer's website,
www.CTBigList.com, to search for your property and
download a claim form anytime seven days a week, 24
hours a day.* Once you download and print a claim online, your name
will no longer appear on the website - this prevents
anyone else from claiming the same property. If
you do not submit the claim within one year, the
property will again be available for viewing on the
* Only owners of the property or
their legal heirs may file a claim.
Call 1-800-833-7318, Monday through Friday between 8
a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
completed claim form to:
Office of the State
Unclaimed Property Division
Hartford, CT 06102
Typically all claims require copies of the following:
1) an original, notarized signature on the claim form; 2)
copy of photo identification
(i.e., driver's license); 3) copy of social security number;
4) documents that verify proof of ownership, such as tax return,
original check, or utility bill; and 5) any additional information
be needed depending on the type of property being claimed.
What does the State do with
Unclaimed Property receipts are deposited in the
Connecticut State General Fund, in accordance with state
law. The State never assumes ownership of the unclaimed
funds. The State Treasurer is the custodian of these funds,
which are held in trust,
until the rightful owners come forward to claim the funds.
Owner information stays in the database in the owner's name
until the rightful owner (or heir) claims the funds.
What does the state do to find
unclaimed property owners?
Under Connecticut General Statutes, the State Treasurer's
Office is mandated to publish an electronic notice that new
names of persons appearing to own abandoned property are
available. This is an effective method of reaching
Connecticut residents about unclaimed property.
The Unclaimed Property Division
provides a dedicated website,
that gives Internet users access to the Treasury's owners
database of more than 1.4 million names. If they
locate their names in the owner database, owners can print a
claim online. Once you download a claim online, your
name and that property is removed from the active viewing
There are two ways to claim property,
or call, toll free, 1-800-833-7318.
What is demutualization?
A demutualization is the conversion of a mutual insurance
company that is owned by its policyholders, into a stock
company, that is owned by shareholders. The insurance
company continues to exist, but its corporate formation and
ownership are altered. Eligible policyholders exchange their
ownership rights in the mutual life insurance company for
common shares of the new company and rights consistent with
those of a typical publicly-owned company. Shares are also
usually offered to other investors in an initial public
offering (IPO). But your policy rights are not affected you
still retain your policy and its associated "contract"
rights. Demutualization does not affect your policy benefits
or affect your policy premiums.
How and why did the
The management of the insurance company determined that
the company's policyholder interests would be best served by
converting from a mutual to a stock company. They proposed a
"Plan of Demutualization" that was approved by both a
majority of policyholders and by insurance regulators in the
insurance company's home state.
How did my demutualization
proceeds end up on Connecticut's unclaimed property list?
If you were an owner of a policy bought from a company
that changed from a mutual ownership to stock ownership, the
process called demutualization, and you met certain
eligibility criteria, you were automatically entitled to
receive stock or cash distributed in the demutualization
the company could not locate you, the demutualization
proceeds would have been turned over to the custody of the
state, as required by the unclaimed property law, until the
rightful owner can be located.
What happened to the insurance
The demutualization impacted only the policyholder's
"member" rights in the mutual company; it did not change any
policy, or contract rights. The distribution of cash or
securities from the demutualization does not reduce the cash
value or coverage of the policy, nor would it result in
cancellation of the policy. Neither will it increase any
premiums. You will also still be eligible to receive any
policy dividends as declared by the new company.
How do I know if my insurance
company has gone through demutualization? I have not heard
from my insurance company, what should I do?
State Treasurer's Office urges individuals owning policies
in any insurance company to correspond with the company
directly at least once each year.
What is done with the original shares of securities that
were reported to the Office of the Treasurer in my name?
Why am I only
receiving the proceeds of the sale of the securities?
The Connecticut General Statutes give the Treasurer the
authority to sell securities. CT General Statute 3-68a (d)
reads, in part, "The Treasurer may proceed with the
liquidation of the property upon receipt". Securities -
stocks and mutual funds - are sold upon receipt and the
rightful owner receives the proceeds.
Are unused Gift Cards sent to
the State as unclaimed property?
A landmark 2003
Connecticut law made Connecticut one of the first states to
provide consumers with important protections in the use of
gift cards and gift certificates. In the past, prior to the
Connecticut law, consumers would lose money from the value
of gift cards and gift certificates due to monthly fees and
other charges, and expiration dates. Public Act 03-1
(sections 66-84 inclusive) became law on August 16, 2003.
Gift cards and gift certificates purchased by shoppers in
Connecticut cannot have an expiration date or incur
inactivity fees. However, if gift cards are issued and
administered by federally charted banks, Connecticut law
does not apply. Federally chartered banks are regulated by
the federal office of the Comptroller of the Currency
("OCC"). The OCC has stated that state laws like
Connecticut's Gift Card law do not apply to federally
regulated banks. A federal court agreed and Connecticut no
longer has the ability to enforce State of Connecticut
unclaimed property laws against federally chartered bank
Later legislative modifications to the 2003 law,
effective October 1, 2005, changed certain aspects of the
law. Public Act 05-189 (link) eliminated the requirement for
businesses to turn over (escheat) the unused value of a gift
card to the State Treasurer's Office after a period of three
years, if there was no owner contact. Prior to October 1,
2005, businesses were required to turn over any unused value
remaining on a gift card, if the owner had not used the card
for a three-year period. The unused value would be held in
perpetuity by the State Treasurer until the rightful owners
were located, consistent with Connecticut unclaimed property
law which mandates the State Treasurer to serve as custodian
of all unclaimed property due to Connecticut residents. PA
05-189 exempts gift cards from Connecticut's unclaimed
property law and, as a consequence, removes gift card
consumers from the custodial protections of the State