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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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
|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|