FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2017
Media Contact: Shelli King
Tennessee General Assembly Passes Unclaimed Property Legislation
Tennessee Becomes Third State in the Country to Pass the Uniform Reform Bill
NASHVILLE, TN – Before adjourning this week, the Tennessee General Assembly unanimously passed the Tennessee Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. Sponsored by Senator Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, and Representative Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville, the legislation was modeled after the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act adopted by the Uniform Law Commission last summer. Tennessee becomes the third state in the nation to pass a version of the uniform reform bill, which will allow for even greater efficiency in returning missing money to Tennesseans.
The Tennessee Treasury Department administers the Division of Unclaimed Property. Unclaimed property is money that has been turned over to the State by businesses and organizations who cannot locate the rightful owners. Every year, millions of missing dollars are turned over to the State, and the Unclaimed Property Division works to return the money to the rightful owner. There is no time limit on claiming unclaimed property in Tennessee. At the end of FY16, there was $789.2 million in unclaimed property in Tennessee still waiting to be claimed.
The Tennessee Uniform Unclaimed Property Act passed by the legislature this week modernizes current unclaimed property laws, addressing new types of property and changes in technology. The Act will reduce the general abandonment period for property from five to three years, allowing the State to begin searching for rightful owners sooner than before. It will also increase efficiency by allowing the State Treasurer to directly return unclaimed property belonging to governmental entities without a claim having to be filed.
“I am grateful to the Tennessee State Senate and House of Representatives for their support of this legislation,” said State Treasurer David Lillard. “Under the leadership of Chairmen Doug Overbey and Representative Andrew Farmer, the reform legislation passed overwhelmingly in both houses. We appreciate their support for making improvements to this important consumer protection program.”
To learn more about unclaimed property or to search for any missing money, visit www.treasury.tn.gov/unclaim.