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Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Oklahoma

Filed under Basic Accounting. Fact checked on April 23, 2012.

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

In Oklahoma, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Section of the Oklahoma 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).

Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it becomes payable or distributable. 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 from the state.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, a holder of abandoned property valued at $50 or more must file a verified annual report containing information concerning the property required by the Oklahoma State Treasurer. The report must be filed before November 1 for property reportable as of September 1, except that for life insurance companies, the report must be filed before May 1 for property reportable as of March 1. The filing date may be postponed upon written request.

Financial institutions holding unclaimed property in a safe deposit box or a similar safekeeping repository must report the contents of the box to the Treasurer. The report must include a description of the property and the location of where it is held, and any offsets, including rent, drilling costs, or replacement lock costs, owed to the holder. However, private documents only need to be sufficiently described to enable the treasurer to determine its value. Additionally, the contents of the safe deposit box may be inspected by the Treasurer.

The State Treasurer may require any person who has not filed a report to submit a report stating whether he or she is holding any reportable or deliverable unclaimed property. If the demand is made by certified mail, the report must be filed within 60 days after receipt of such demand.

Prior notice to owner. Not more than 120 days before filing the report, the holder of unclaimed property valued at $50 or more must send written notice to the apparent owner at the owner's last known address informing the owner that the holder is in possession of such property.

A life insurance company that is obligated by law or by the policy contract to give notice that an automatic premium loan or other nonforfeiture provision has been exercised has a special due diligence obligation if its notice has been returned undeliverable: it must make a reasonable search to ascertain the policyholder's correct address. Further, if the company learns of the death of the insured or annuitant and the beneficiary has not communicated with the company within four months after the death, the company must take reasonable steps to pay the proceeds to the beneficiary.

Delivery. The abandoned property must be paid or delivered to the State Treasurer within six months after the final date for filing the report, except in the case of stocks and other intangible ownership interest enrolled in an automatic dividend reinvestment plan, where the holder has the option to either retain the property or deliver it to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer may opt to decline to receive property of insubstantial 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 sold in Oklahoma.

Penalties. a person who fails to pay or deliver abandoned property on time is liable for interest at the annual rate of 10 percent on the value of the property from the date the property should have been paid or delivered.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it becomes payable or distributable. 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 from the state.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. Unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state's website (https://www.ok.gov/unclaimed/index.php).

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, excluding another state, claiming an interest in any property valued at $50 or more that was paid or delivered as abandoned property may file a claim with the State Treasurer, which must consider and decide on such claim within 90 days after it is filed. The procedure is essentially the same where the claimant is another state, except that the claim will be allowed only in those circumstances where the other state has some basis for claiming a custodial relationship with the property as enumerated in the statute.

Any person claiming an interest in property delivered to the Treasurer may begin the process by filling out a claim form online (https://www.ok.gov/unclaimed/index.php) after performing a successful online search.

The State Treasurer may hold a hearing and receive evidence before rendering a decision on the claim. A person dissatisfied with a decision of the State Treasurer or whose claim was not acted upon within 90 days after the filing date may, within 90 days after the decision of the State Treasurer or 180 days after filing the claim not acted upon, bring an action to establish a claim against the State Treasurer in the district court of the county of the person's residence or the District Court of Oklahoma County.

Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma, contact the following:

Oklahoma State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
4545 North Lincoln Boulevard
Suite 106
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3413
Phone: (405) 521-4273
Fax: (405) 522-0130
E-mail: Unclaimed@treasurer.ok.gov
Website: https://www.ok.gov/unclaimed/index.php

Oklahoma Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account demand, savings, and time deposit accounts: five years.
Automatic renewal deposits: 15 years.
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds two years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos Credit memos over $50: five years
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: five years.
The presumed maturity of an insurance policy is two years.
IRAs or retirement funds no specific provision
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified Property originated or issued by an entity in the state: 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 one year
Property held by courts or public agencies one year
Property held by fiduciaries seven years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution five years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions Automatic dividend reinvestment plans: 15 years.
Other stocks, dividends and distributions: three years.
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer one year
Wages or salaries one year

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