Finance for Small Businesses
Learn more about the resources available for Finance.
Filed under Finance.
Learn the unclaimed property rules and their time limits for the state of New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Abandoned Property Division of the New Hampshire State Treasury.
New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire property is generally presumed abandoned if there has been no account activity for five 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, the money is transferred to the state's General Fund and in part to the various County Treasurers within three years of being reported. However, the rightful owner still retains the right to reclaim the property indefinitely.
In New Hampshire, a holder of abandoned property reports the property as of June 30 to the Treasury Department by November 1. An insurance company reports property as of December 31 by May 1. The Department may extend the time to file the report upon written request.
Prior notice to owner. Within 120 days before filing the report, a holder must send written notice that the property is unclaimed to owners of property valued at $50 or more.
Delivery. Along with the report, the holder delivers the unclaimed property to the Department. The Department may decline to receive property of little value. The holder will be notified within 120 days after filing the report if the Department declines the property. The holder may deliver property before it is presumed abandoned.
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. a holder that fails to file a report is liable for a penalty of $100 per day up to an aggregate of $5,000.
A holder that willfully fails to deliver property to the Department pays interest at the rate of 18 percent per year or $25, whichever is greater, and is liable for a penalty of 25 percent of the value of the property that should have been delivered. If the holder refuses after written demand by the Department to deliver property, the holder is guilty of a misdemeanor.
In New Hampshire, property is generally presumed abandoned if there has been no account activity for five 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, the money is transferred to the state's General Fund and in part to the various County Treasurers within three years of being reported. However, the rightful owner still retains the right to reclaim the property indefinitely.
Locating abandoned property held by the state. The New Hampshire Treasury Department publishes notice of abandoned property valued at $50 or more, other than traveler's checks or money orders, by November 30 on two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation and mails notice to the owners.
Unclaimed property held by the state may also be found by searching the state's website (http://www.nh.gov/treasury/Divisions/APSearch/).
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. Any person claiming an interest in property delivered to the Department may file a claim with the Department. Any person claiming an interest in property delivered to the Department may file a claim online (http://www.nh.gov/treasury/Divisions/APSearch/) after performing a successful online search.
The owner may claim dividends, interest, or other increments realized or accruing on property other than money held by the Department before liquidation or conversion of the property into money. The Department gives a written decision within 90 days after the filing of the claim if the claim is denied.
A person dissatisfied with the decision or whose claim has not been acted upon within the 90 days may bring an action in the Merrimack County Superior Court to establish the claim. The action is filed within 90 days of the decision or, if the claim was not acted upon, within 180 days of filing the claim.
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 New Hampshire, contact the following:
New Hampshire Treasury Department
Abandoned Property Division
25 Capitol Street, Room 205
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-2619
Fax: (603) 271-2730, (800) 791-0920 (in New Hampshire)
|Property Type||Presumed Abandoned After|
|Bank account||five years|
|Checks or drafts||five years|
|Demutualization proceeds||two years|
|Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos||gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos over $100: 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||other intangible personal 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||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||one year|
|Wages or salaries||one year|