Recovering Unclaimed Property in Maine: Does the State Have Property of Mine?

written by: Attorney Kirk G. Siegel

Maine’s Unclaimed Property Act Title 33 M.R.S.A. §1951 et seq. deals with money and other personal assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It could include checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, gift certificates, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, commissions, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, money orders, refunds, savings accounts, stocks and contents of safe deposit boxes. (Real estate, animals or vehicles are not considered Unclaimed Property.)

Maine’s unclaimed property list contains over 150,000 names, along with some helpful tools for quickly and easily claiming lost property.  A quick visit to the online search webpage makes it simple to search under a person’s name.  According to the State of Maine, millions of dollars annually “escheat” to the State of Maine by entities unable to locate the owners.  The State then attempts to reunite the property with its owner.  No fee is charged to process an Unclaimed Property Claim with the State.  If a person finds their name on the list, the simplest option is to file an electronic claim-which can be done in as little as a few minutes at the above website (as the author of this article discovered with respect to an account of his wife’s). Continue reading