Claim Your Unclaimed Property

What is Unclaimed Property?

1 in 10 Americans has unclaimed property. Let's take a look at what unclaimed property is and how property becomes abandoned.

tn_ucp_what_is_unclaimed_prop1200

Unclaimed Property 101

Generally speaking in Tennessee unclaimed property is intangible (ex. un-cashed paychecks, savings accounts) or tangible property (ex. safe deposit box contents), in which there has been no activity generated or contact with the owner for a one-year or longer period—at which point, it becomes unclaimed or "abandoned".

"I discovered I had an un-cashed paycheck waiting on me!"

“female

Meet Joanna. A few years ago, Joanna and her husband moved to Knoxville, when she began a new job. Her previous employer had attempted to contact her to notify her of a paycheck that had not been cashed. By law, the employer reported the paycheck to the Tennessee Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division as unclaimed property.

At the Tennessee State Fair, Joanna stopped by the ClaimItTN.gov booth and conducted a free search. She quickly found her missing money and—with the help of the Unclaimed Property team—was able to claim a nice bonus!

The Unclaimed Property Process: What, How, Why, and When

tn_ucp_what_is_unclaimed_prop1200

What is unclaimed property?

NAUPA defines unclaimed property as accounts in financial institutions or companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or longer. Unclaimed property may include refunds, un-cashed payroll checks, stocks, credit balance on overpayment, and many other forms.

tn_ucp_what_is_unclaimed_prop1200

How does property become unclaimed or "abandoned"?

If a specified amount of time has passed (typically 1–3 years) and the company has not been able to return your asset or make contact with you, then the property becomes abandoned. At the end of that period of time, the company is required to attempt to notify you in writing to prevent the property from being turned over to the State as unclaimed property or to allow you to claim your asset directly from the company.

tn_ucp_what_is_unclaimed_prop1200

Why does my property get turned over to the State?

By Tennessee state law (similar to other states), after the specified time has elapsed with no contact with the company, the property is then turned over to the Tennessee Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division for safeguarding.  The intent of the law is to provide a better opportunity to return your property to you.

Through its website and outreach efforts, the Tennessee Treasury helps return $50 million in unclaimed property each year.

tn_ucp_what_is_unclaimed_prop1200

When can I claim my unclaimed property?

Once the Tennessee Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division receives the unclaimed property, it is available to be claimed by the owner or their legal heir(s). You can conduct a free search at any time on our website or at one of our outreach events. There is no time limit to claim your property. In addition, there is no charge to claim your property through the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

Types of Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property comes in both intangible (most common) and tangible forms.

Intangible Property

The following are examples of intangible property:

  • Customer refunds never claimed
  • Credit balance for overpayment
  • Employee payroll check that was not cashed
  • Securities (stocks, mutual funds, bonds)
  • Dividend check that was not cashed
  • Utility security deposits
  • Unredeemed money orders of gift certificates

If you believe you may have unclaimed property from the list above, you can conduct a free search on our website to find out instantly.

Tangible Property

The following are examples of tangible (physical) property:

  • Contents of safe deposit boxes
  • Military service medals
Military Service Medals

Currently, military service medals are the only tangible property that the Tennessee Department of Treasury collects and safeguards as part of its Unclaimed Property Program. The Division makes a special effort to locate the families and heirs of the service men and women who bravely earned these unique honors.

Safe Deposit Box Contents, Land, and Homes

If you are interested in acquiring land or homes that are auctioned due to delinquent taxes, please contact your local county trustee's office.

plant growth from money

Contact Us


Have questions about the Unclaimed Property program?  We're here to help!

Unclaimed Property Division—Claims

(866) 370.9429

ucp.information@tn.gov

Mailing Address


Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 190693

Nashville, TN  37219-0693

Courier Delivery Only
State of Tennessee
Unclaimed Property Division
Andrew Jackson State Office Building
15th Floor
502 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN  37243-0203