Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Nebraska

Filed under Basic Accounting. Fact checked on May 19, 2012.

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

In Nebraska, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Nebraska State Treasurer.

  • 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).

Nebraska 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 Nebraska property is generally presumed abandoned if it remains inactive for three years. 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 the burden of reclaiming it from the state, which holds the property in a custodial capacity until the rightful owner or heir can be found.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Nebraska

A holder of abandoned property must file a verified annual report to the Nebraska State Treasurer containing prescribed information concerning the property. The report is due on or before November 1, as of June 30 (for insurance companies, it is due May 1, as of December 31 of the preceding year). The filing date may be postponed upon written request.

Prior notice to owner. Before filing the report, a holder of unclaimed property who knows the whereabouts of the owner must communicate with him and take steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. If the owner's whereabouts are not known, the holder must exercise due diligence to ascertain the whereabouts of the owner.

A holder must contact the owner not less than 60 nor more than 120 days before the report is due for each owner whose balance is more than $50. If the owner completes and returns the written notification to the holder, this action prevents the presumption of abandonment, and the funds are no longer reportable.

Delivery. Along with the report, the holder delivers the unclaimed funds and intangible property to the Treasurer. The Treasurer may decline to receive property of little value (except property from a safe deposit box). The holder may deliver property before it is presumed abandoned.

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

Penalties. a person who fails to pay or deliver abandoned property on time is liable for the statutory judgment interest (rate changes periodically) from the date the property should have been paid or delivered.

The penalty for willfully failing to render a report or to perform other required duties is a fine of $100 per day of violation, up to a maximum of $5,000. A person who willfully fails to pay or deliver property to the State Treasurer is subject to a civil penalty equal to 25 percent of the value of the property that should have been paid or delivered. A person who willfully refuses to pay or deliver property is guilty of a Class II misdemeanor.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Nebraska

In Nebraska, property is generally presumed abandoned if it remains inactive for three years. 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 the burden of reclaiming it from the state, which holds the property in a custodial capacity until the rightful owner or heir can be found.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. Unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state's website (http://www.treasurer.org/up/upsearchprop.asp).

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. A person claiming an interest in any property that was paid or delivered as abandoned property may file a claim with the Nebraska State Treasurer. The Treasurer may hold a hearing and receive evidence before rendering a decision on the claim.

A person dissatisfied with the decision of the Treasurer or whose claim was not acted upon within 90 days after the filing date may appeal in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

Nebraska 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 Nebraska, contact the following:

Nebraska State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
5800 Cornhusker Hwy, Bldg. 2 Ste. 4
Lincoln, NE 68507
Phone: (402) 471-8497
Fax: (402) 471-1167
E-mail: info@treasurer.org
Website: http://www.treasurer.org/up/upsearchprop.asp

Nebraska Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account Demand, savings, and time deposit accounts: five years
Automatic renewal time deposits: seven years
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds two years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos Gift certificates, credit memos, and gift cards valued at $100 or more: three years
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: five years
IRAs or retirement funds IRAs, SEPs, and similar accounts: 30 days
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified Mineral rights: three years
Other property: five years
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution two years
Property held by courts or public agencies three years
Property held by fiduciaries five years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution five years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions five years
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer deposits, refunds, and advances: three years
Wages or salaries one year

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