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Hundreds of millions of dollars owed to Arkansans are waiting to be claimed through the state auditor’s office unclaimed property program. Here’s how to find out if there’s cash with your name on it.
What is the unclaimed property program?
Auditor Andrea Lea said anytime an entity owes money to an individual or another entity but cannot get in contact with them, the company or organization possessing the funds is required by law to turn the money over to the state.
The state then works on finding the person the money belongs to through its unclaimed property program.
“That property can be anything from a deposit put down on anything — we’ve had deposits put down on a park gazebo to rent, deposits on an apartment, utility deposits are really common — to a bank account to being a life insurance beneficiary where the life insurance company was unable to find you,” Lea said.
How can Arkansans participate?
Lea recommends people start by visiting claimitar.com and searching by name.
If someone sees that they are owed money, they can click to claim the money and enter information including their Social Security number to verify their identity.
Lea said if there is an error in the claimant’s entry, such as a typo, the program will prompt individuals to enter answers to questions based on personal information the government has on a person, such as the birthday of a relative. This is to prevent fraudulent claims on property.
If an individual is able to verify their identity in the system, they will receive a confirmation email of their successful claim. If the system needs additional information, an email will be sent with further instructions to continue the claim process.
Those who would rather claim their money by phone can call the unclaimed property division at 501-682-6000 and the auditor’s office will also communicate by mail, if preferred. The address is Unclaimed Property Division 1401 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 325 Little Rock, AR 72201.
Lea said funds are only delivered via paper check. The check will come in an envelope from the state auditor.
How often do new funds come into the system?
Lea said new property arrives every day, and she recommends Arkansans check at least once a year to see if they’re owed anything.
“I like to say, just as every year you're supposed to do a physical checkup, do a fiscal checkup at the same time,” she said.