Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Indiana

Filed under Basic Accounting. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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Learn the unclaimed property rules and their time limits for the state of Indiana.

In Indiana, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office.

  • As a business owner, this will be the agency to contact if you possess unclaimed property (unpaid wages, for example). Remember that you are subject to both reporting requirements and the obligation to turn over abandoned property to the state.
  • It is also the point of contact if you believe that you may have knowingly, or unknowingly, abandoned property (for example, failing to get back a security deposit, didn't receive a tax refund).

Indiana businesses have a number of responsibilities concerning unclaimed property. Initially, written notice must be sent to the apparent owner of the unclaimed property, if known. If the property remains unclaimed, businesses have a number of filing and reporting requirements to fulfill. Most importantly, businesses are required to turn over any and all unclaimed property to the state. Stiff penalties apply to businesses who fail to comply with any of these requirements.

Individuals should know that Indiana property is generally presumed abandoned after one to 15 years of inactivity by the owner of the property. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has 25 years to reclaim it before it becomes the property of the state.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Indiana

Information reports sent to the Attorney General are required of persons holding unclaimed property ( e.g., banks, insurance companies) that is presumed abandoned. For life insurance companies, the report is due before May 1st of each year for the calendar year preceding the year in which the report is filed. For all other holders, a report is due before November 1st of each year to cover the year preceding July 1st of the year in which the report is filed.

The report requires identification of the property and its former owner, the dates when the property became payable and when the last transaction with the owner occurred.

Prior notice to owner. Indiana requires that holders of unclaimed property valued at $50 or more attempt to contact the owner about the property in advance of reporting it to the state. This due diligence must be performed no more than 120 days, or no less than 60 days, prior to the filing of the report. Mail notifications must be sent to property owners by first class mail or better at their last known address.

Delivery. Property reported as unclaimed is delivered to the Attorney General at the same time as the report is filed. The Attorney General may destroy or dispose of property lacking commercial value.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records 10 years after the unclaimed property becomes reportable. However, the period is three years for traveler's checks, money orders, and similar financial instruments.

Penalties. Penalties of $100 per day are imposed for the first 15 days for failure to report or deliver unclaimed property as well as interest at the Treasury Bill rate plus one percent. After the first 15 days, the penalty is the greater of: (1) $100 a day for each additional day; or (2) 10 percent of the value for the property at issue.

An additional 10 percent penalty is imposed if a holder knowingly or intentionally fails to pay or deliver property to the attorney general. The penalty is limited to $5,000.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Indiana

In Indiana, property is generally presumed abandoned three years after the owner's right to demand the property or the obligation to pay or distribute the property arises, whichever comes first. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has 25 years to reclaim it before it becomes the property of the state.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. The Office of the Indiana Attorney General publishes the names of all unclaimed property owners, as reported by the holder, in newspapers across the state. State law requires properties turned over in a given calendar year to appear in the newspaper by November 30 of the following year. However, notice is not required for items with a value of less than $100.

Unclaimed property held by the state may also be found by searching the state's website.

To find out if other states may be holding your unclaimed property, search the national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).

Filing a claim. An owner claiming to recover abandoned property is not required to formally file a claim if the Attorney General identifies the owner. Otherwise, a claim to recover unclaimed property held by Indiana may be submitted by following these exact instructions from the Attorney General's website:

  • Step 1: Enter your name in the online https://secure.in.gov/apps/ag/ucp/index.html search field.
  • Step 2: When the results are returned, place a check mark in the box next to the property you want to claim. You may select more than one.
  • Step 3: Click "Add Checked to Claim."
  • Step 4: If all of your properties are listed, click "Continue."
  • Step 5: Select your relationship to the property owner. Click "Continue."
  • Step 6: Complete the claim form. This may state standard claim, business claim or quick claim. Complete all of the required fields.
  • Step 7: Click "Continue."
  • Step 8: Verify your information. If everything you have entered is correct, click "Approve."
  • Step 9: Once you have approved your claim, you can choose to "Print your claim now" or "Save and print later."
  • Step 10: Mail your signed claim form with any required documentation as indicated in the instructions to the following address:

    Office of the Indiana Attorney General
    Unclaimed Property Division
    P.O. Box 2504
    Greenwood, IN 46142

The Attorney General notifies claimants of his decision by written notice and claims take at least 90 days to process before property may be returned. In the interim and after 72 hours of filing, you can check on the status of a claim online status of a claim online using the claim number issued upon filing.

Claimants whose claim has been denied or whose claim has not been acted on within 90 days may seek judicial review.

Indiana Unclaimed Property Resources

If you're looking for additional information on unclaimed property, we recommend contacting your state's governmental agency that oversees the administration of this area of the law. For help in answering a specific unclaimed property question in Indiana, contact the following:

Indiana Attorney General's Office
Unclaimed Property Division
302 W. Washington Street, Fifth Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-6348; (800) 447-5598
Fax: (317) 232-7979
Website: https://secure.in.gov/apps/ag/ucp/index.html

Indiana Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account five years
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds five years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos customer credit memos: three years
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: three years
IRAs or retirement funds IRAs and similar accounts or plans: three years
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified five years
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution one year
Property held by courts or public agencies courts: five years
other public agencies: one year
Property held by fiduciaries five years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution no specific provision
Stocks, dividends, and distributions five years
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer deposits and refunds: one year
Wages or salaries one year

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