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Maryland Unclaimed Money

What is Unclaimed Money in Maryland?

The Maryland Abandoned Property and Regulations Act defines unclaimed property as any abandoned property resulting from the owner failing to contact the holder after a statutorily stipulated time. In Maryland, unclaimed property usually refers to money; it can lay abandoned in bank accounts, wages, dividends, insurance benefits, savings deposit box content, and stocks. Maryland exempts real estate, boats, and cars from its Abandoned Property and Regulations Act.

The law defines a holder as anyone who owns or is a trustee to unclaimed property. It also includes persons or institutions who own property yet to be claimed. For example, holders include financial institutions like banks, insurance companies, and credit unions.

Maryland's legislation requires that holders report properties with no owner activity to the state government after three years. After that, the state government assumes temporary custody of the property for life until the owner comes to claim it, a process known as escheatment. The Comptroller of Maryland is in charge of managing unclaimed properties in the state.

How to Find Unclaimed Money in Maryland

The Maryland State Comptroller provides an online search service where the public can examine a government list of unclaimed money. Marylanders can access this database at any time and follow the instructions as displayed on the webpage. The state office also tries to locate owners through different publicity avenues such as newspaper advertisements, mass mailings, online promotional videos, media campaigns, and outreach programs.

Members of the public can also purchase a CD of unclaimed property owners for $4 by sending a letter of request to the Comptroller's office at:

Comptroller of Maryland Compliance Division Unclaimed Property, Room 310
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Interested parties can remit payment via money order or business check payable to The Comptroller of Maryland - Unclaimed Property. The CD would include non-confidential information such as the owner's name, last known address, and claim number.

Maryland Law, Md. Code Ann., General Provisions Article (GP) §4-335 prohibits the Comptroller from disclosing private information such as the owner's SSN, the type and value of the property, financial notes, and any information about the holder. In addition, Md. Code Ann., Commercial Law, Section §17-311(b)(2) allows only a person in interest to obtain information about the value or description of the property and the name and address of the holder.

How Do I Find Maryland Unclaimed Money for Free?

The search service provided by the Comptroller of Maryland is free to use and accessible to the public. Other federal agencies keep records of unclaimed funds within their purview, and these offices maintain online repositories that are free to use at any time. Some of these agencies include the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, the US Bankruptcy Court, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, the US Department of Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

NUAPA holds records of unclaimed properties in different states across the country, and its database is a helpful tool for Marylanders to search for unclaimed money outside the state. HUD keeps records of unclaimed HUD funds. The Treasury Department provides records of abandoned matured savings bonds and other types of securities via its online search tool; the PBGC has a list of unclaimed pension benefits, and interest parties can call (800) 400-7242 toll-free to find unclaimed money.

Individuals searching for unclaimed bankruptcy funds can use the U.S. Bankruptcy Unclaimed Funds Locator.

How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Maryland

The Comptroller's office lets interested individuals run a check on its unclaimed property database by inputting their first and last names. There is also an option to search by last or business name only.

The search results will display a list of unclaimed properties that match the data provided with information such as the name and address of the owner and a specific claim number. Search results do not include the amount of the claim.

After locating an asset, requesters will need to write down the property's claim number and head to the Claiming Your Property page, where they'll be required to download and complete a claim form for each property they choose to claim. The final step is to mail the claim form with all the required documents attached to it to:

Comptroller of Maryland Compliance Division Unclaimed Property, Room 310
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

The supporting documents include a valid photo ID such as a driver's licence or state-issued ID, any document containing an SSN, proof of relationship if required, and bank documents. Requesting parties can email the Unclaimed Property Unit for further inquiries.

Businesses who have unclaimed funds with the state government can also file a claim by completing a holder claim form and mailing it to the Comptroller's office. Maryland does not charge a fee for releasing unclaimed property to the rightful owner, an individual, or a business organisation.

How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Maryland?

In Maryland, the average waiting time for processing claims is 6 to 8 weeks. However, this may vary depending on the number of claims sent to the Comptroller's office by calling (410) 767-1700 or faxing (410) 333-7150. People living outside of Maryland can use the toll-free line, (800) 782-7383

Another option is to visit the office in person at:

Comptroller of Maryland Compliance Division Unclaimed Property, Room 310
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Maryland?

In Maryland, heirs and surviving family members, executors, and court-appointed probate administrators can file a claim to the Comptroller's office for properties abandoned by deceased persons at any time. The Comptroller will request to see vital records, such as a death certificate, marriage certificate, Will, and other valuable documents that can help verify the requester's proof of relationship.

What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Maryland if No One Claims It?

The State of Maryland only assumes temporary ownership of unclaimed property because its Abandoned Property Act is custodial. This means that there is no statutory deadline for claiming property, and anyone can file a claim at any time. However, the law allows the Comptroller's office to auction unclaimed items from abandoned safe deposit boxes on eBay and register the best return value of the property to the rightful owner.

Can Someone in Maryland Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?

Yes. Marylanders are free to claim unclaimed money from another state provided that they meet all the requirements outlined by the state's government. To do this, they can conduct a Nationwide search on the NUAPA search website.

Each state has its own abandoned property claim program; therefore, interested parties should inquire how to find and claim unclaimed properties from the agency holding abandoned assets in the state in question. Requesters should keep in mind that the state will only release a property after they have provided substantial proof of ownership or affiliation with the owner.