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Learn the unclaimed property rules and their time limits for the state of Mississippi.
In Mississippi, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Mississippi Treasury Department.
Mississippi 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 Mississippi property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became 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 it from the state.
In Mississippi, a holder of property presumed abandoned must file a verified report containing information required by the State Treasurer concerning the property. The report is due every third year on or before November 1, as of June 30 of the previous year. The holder may file a written request for postponement of the reporting date.
Prior notice to owner. If the holder knows the whereabouts of the owner, the holder must, before filing the report, attempt to contact the owner and take reasonable steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. Mailing a notice to the owner's last known address is sufficient compliance with this requirement.
Delivery. Abandoned property must be delivered or remitted to the State Treasurer at the same time as the filing of the report, unless prior thereto the owner proves that he has a right to receive the abandoned property. In the case of stocks, dividends, interest and other distributions, a duplicate certificate or other evidence of ownership may be issued in lieu of delivery of the actual property.
Recordkeeping. Mississippi has no specific recordkeeping requirements for businesses reporting unclaimed property to the state.
Penalties. The penalty for willfully failing to render a report or to perform other required duties is $5 per day of violation (up to a maximum of $100). The penalty for willfully failing to pay or deliver property to the Treasurer is a fine of not less than $5 or more than $100, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. In addition, interest at one percent per month may be charged.
In Mississippi, property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became 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 it 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 (http://www.treasury.state.ms.us/Unclaimed/).
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 paid or delivered as abandoned property may file a claim with the Treasurer, who may hold a hearing and receive evidence concerning the claim before rendering a decision.
To file your claim:
A person dissatisfied with a decision of the Treasurer or whose claim was not acted upon within 90 days after the filing date may, within 30 days after the decision of the Treasurer or 60 days after filing the claim not acted upon, appeal to the circuit court of the first judicial district of Hinds County, Mississippi.
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 Mississippi, contact the following:
Mississippi Treasury Department
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 138
Jackson, MS 39205-0138
Phone: (601) 359-3600
Fax: (601) 359-2001
|Property Type||Presumed Abandoned After|
|Bank account||five years|
|Checks or drafts||five years|
|Demutualization proceeds||no specific provision|
|Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos||no specific provision|
|Insurance policies||Life or annuity policies: five years|
|IRAs or retirement funds||no specific provision|
|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||no specific provision|
|Property held by courts or public agencies||Property held by the federal government: five years|
|Property held by fiduciaries||five years|
|Safe deposit boxes||no specific provision|
|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, refunds, and advances: five years|
|Wages or salaries||no specific provision|