How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Treasury is tasked with several key responsibilities: accumulating unclaimed property from entities known as ‘‘holders,’’ such as banks, insurance companies, and corporations, that have lost contact with property owners; maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date database of such unclaimed property; and facilitating a search and claim process through which individuals and businesses can recover what is rightfully theirs.

In Colorado, the time frame after which money or property is deemed to be “unclaimed” is contingent upon specific statutes and regulations outlined under the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA). According to these rules, a dormancy period must pass before the property is legally designated as unclaimed. This period varies depending on the type of property but typically ranges from one to five years.

The recent adjustments to Colorado’’s unclaimed property laws stipulate shorter periods before certain types of property are declared unclaimed. This period is conventionally one year for payroll wages and three years for most other property types.

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Types of unclaimed property managed by the state

Colorado handles a wide array of unclaimed property which can include dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, forgotten safe deposit boxes, stocks, bonds, dividends, and refunds. Items such as jewelry, historical artifacts, and valuable documents that are left unclaimed in safety deposit boxes may also fall under the umbrella of unclaimed property.

Searching for unclaimed money

For Colorado residents or those who have conducted business in the state, finding unclaimed money may only be a few clicks away. MoneyBot5000 is a dedicated portal designed to help individuals and organizations identify property that may belong to them. To utilize the website effectively, follow these step-by-step instructions:

1. Access the website: Visit and sign up or log in to your account.

2. Initial search: On the homepage, you’ll find a search bar. Enter either your personal name or the name of your business or nonprofit organization here. For individuals, enter your last name followed by your first name without a comma (e.g., Doe John).

3. Browse results: After submitting your search, the website will display a list of unclaimed property that matches your query. Look through the list to see if any entries match your full name or business name.

4. Select potential claims: If you find a property you believe belongs to you, click on the entry to view more details. It is useful to have information regarding past addresses or identifiers that might be associated with the property.

5. File a claim: If you confirm the property is yours, proceed by filing a claim directly on the state website. If the unclaimed amount is small, you may be eligible for expedited processing. Keep in mind that larger claims or those requiring further verification may necessitate a longer procedure or additional documentation.

In Colorado, if you have discovered an unclaimed property that may belong to you, the process of placing a claim is straightforward but requires your attention to detail. Here is what you need to do to lodge your claim:

Making a claim in Colorado

File a claim: If you’ve identified unclaimed property, you can often file an electronic claim directly through the state website if the property value is relatively small. For larger amounts or special cases, you may need to complete additional steps to submit a supplemental claim.

Claim form: Fill out the claim form carefully. Be sure to include all requested information to prevent any delays in processing your claim.

Print and sign: If the website prompts you to do so, print the completed claim form and sign it. A notarized signature may be required, particularly for higher-value claims or specific types of property.

Submit supporting documentation: With your claim form, you should submit a copy of your ID and other supporting documents that can prove you are the rightful owner of the property. This might include proof of past addresses, proof of your relationship to the previous owner (if you are the heir), and additional information related to the property. The website’s claim process will specify what documents are needed based on the specifics of your claim.

Send the claim: Finally, submit your claim form and any accompanying paperwork through the official Colorado unclaimed property website or by mail, as indicated in the instructions. Be sure to keep a copy of everything you submit for your records. After you’ve submitted your claim, you can track the status online using your claim ID.

Required documentation

In order to facilitate a smooth claim process and reduce the chance of any misunderstandings or delays, the Colorado Department of Treasury strongly encourages claimants to assemble all required documentation before initiating the claim process. It’s important to note that the exact nature and number of documents may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

As a general rule, claimants are expected to produce documentation that proves their identity, their relationship with the claimed property, and their eligibility for the unclaimed assets. The following documents are generally considered acceptable proof:

  • Evidence of identity: This can include a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or other government-issued documentation that clearly displays your name and current address.
  • Evidence of Social Security number: This is typically demonstrated with a Social Security card, Medicare card, or a tax document featuring your Social Security number.
  • Proof of residence: This is to cross-verify with the address associated with the unclaimed property. Evidence can include utility bills, a rental agreement, or a home insurance policy.
  • Other specific documents, especially in case of claims filed for deceased persons’ assets: This may include testamentary documents, probate orders, and death certificates among others.

Understanding the claims process

When you discover an unclaimed property that may belong to you, understanding the timeframe for the claims process is vital in setting realistic expectations. The processing time can vary depending on the complexity of the claim and the volume of claims being processed by the department.

For a straightforward claim, such as one with a relatively small amount of money and clear ownership, approval may come quickly, sometimes even electronically. However, for more complex claims, or during times of high claim volume, the process may take longer. It is not uncommon for claimants to wait several weeks to even a couple of months. Claimants are always encouraged to provide complete and accurate documentation to avoid unnecessary delays.

The state of Colorado does not impose a statute of limitations on claiming unclaimed property, meaning that citizens have an indefinite amount of time to claim their property. This is beneficial as it allows heirs or property owners to come forward at any time and claim what is rightfully theirs, ensuring that estate funds are held securely until an appropriate claim is filed—even if that stretches to 21 years, as prescribed for estate funds.

Proactive unclaimed funds return programs

The state of Colorado operates an automatic return program for certain types of unclaimed property, mainly certain securities and safe deposit box contents. If the state is able to match these properties with their rightful owners using available databases and public records, it will automatically initiate a return without requiring the owner to file a claim. This proactive measure can save residents time and effort, and help to reduce the amount of unclaimed property held by the state.

The Great Colorado Payback program

The Great Colorado Payback is a beacon of hope for those who have lost track of their assets over the years. As an integral component of the Colorado unclaimed property protocol, this program is an initiative spearheaded by the State Treasurer’s Office aimed to return lost or forgotten funds to their rightful owners.

The state of Colorado is the custodian of billions of dollars in unclaimed property, and the Great Colorado Payback serves as the primary mechanism through which these assets are matched with and returned to citizens, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The intention behind the program is to simplify the complexities that traditionally come with the process of reclaiming assets.

The Great Colorado Payback program streamlines the claim process by providing a user-friendly online search platform. Through the official Colorado unclaimed property website, individuals and representatives of organizations can search for unclaimed money by name, business, or nonprofit organization.

If a potential match is found, claimants can click the “claim” button next to the specific property. If no match is found, the search can be easily extended or repeated at a later date. Even if the property is not found immediately, new properties are added to the database regularly, so it’s worth checking back periodically.

Claims can be submitted directly through the website for a streamlined process. Easy-to-follow instructions guide claimants through the steps, and it’s free to search, and free to claim property

Outreach and awareness campaigns

The state of Colorado has embarked on several proactive campaigns and strategies to increase public knowledge about unclaimed money, ensuring that residents are aware of the potential financial assets waiting to be claimed. Recognizing that there are millions of dollars left unclaimed, the state has put in place a series of outreach programs to connect people with their lost assets.

One of the flagship initiatives, the Great Colorado Payback, has played a central role in these outreach efforts. As part of this program, the state has compiled an extensive list exceeding 1.7 million names of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits that are linked to unclaimed assets. This list serves as the foundation for a variety of awareness campaigns designed to prompt Colorado residents to check their status and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Colorado maintains a dedicated website for the Great Colorado Payback, which is a primary tool for both discovery and claim of unclaimed property. The site provides easy-to-follow instructions for residents to search for their names, businesses, or organizations to ascertain if they have a stake in the unclaimed funds.

To maximize its reach, the program has employed a multi-faceted communication approach. This includes press releases, social media campaigns, direct mailing, and partnerships with local media to heighten public attention. In addition to this media barrage, other innovative approaches such as “Claim Your Campaign” events and the interactive “You Are Colorado” exhibit at the Colorado State Fair further drive home the message in a fun and engaging way.

These varied channels of communication ensure that the message reaches a broad audience, increasing the likelihood that the owners of unclaimed property will become aware of their assets and take the necessary steps to claim them.

Colorado Department of Revenue - Unclaimed Property Division

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Colorado Department of the Treasury, 200 E. Colfax Ave. Room 141, Denver CO 80203-1722

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