About Unclaimed Property

Third-Party Locators

External organizations may offer to locate unclaimed property for a fee, and understanding the laws and processes around this practice is key.

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What is an unclaimed property "locator"?

Third-party "finders" or "locators" are individuals or businesses, not affiliated with the State of Tennessee, that attempt to find the unclaimed property owner and collect a fee from that owner in the process.

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Have you been contacted by a locator regarding your unclaimed property?

It is legal to provide unclaimed property finder services in Tennessee—provided the locator/finder is registered with the state and follows all regulations. Using a property finder service may be convenient for some individuals. However, using a finder service is not required to claim your unclaimed property in Tennessee. You may do so at no charge, using our website ClaimItTN.gov.

Searching for and claiming your property is free on ClaimItTN.gov!

It's important to remember that there is no fee to search for and claim your unclaimed property from the Tennessee Department of Treasury using our website or at one of our outreach events.

Conduct a free search on our website View upcoming outreach events

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Need to check the validity of an unclaimed property notice?

If you are ever concerned about the validity of something you have received regarding unclaimed property in Tennessee, please don't hesitate to call or email us. You may also search our database online.

(866) 370-9429 ucp.information@tn.gov

NOTE: It is unlawful for third-party locators to imply that they are representing or associated with the Tennessee Department of Treasury and/or the Unclaimed Property Division. The Unclaimed Property division does not charge a fee to help you locate or return your unclaimed property to you.

Interested in becoming an unclaimed property "locator"?

If you are an individual or business interested in becoming a "finder" or "locator" in Tennessee, please see the following information regarding regulations you must follow.

NOTE: The Unclaimed Property Division does not regulate who can be a locator in Tennessee. However, the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance administers the Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission which has separate regulations.

A locator must be licensed as a private investigator in Tennessee

The Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission has ruled that a locator must be a licensed private investigator. If you are not a licensed private investigator, you will need to contact their office.

Visit the TN Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission site

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Finders fees, contracts, and limits

Fees for research and locator services are subject to limits by statute.

Once you have located someone whose name is listed as having unclaimed property, a contract should be executed between yourself and that person. The contract must state that the locator will charge no more than 10% of the value of property recovered or $50, whichever is greater.

All contracts must be approved by the Tennessee Department of Treasury's Unclaimed Property Division, as stated in TCA 66-29-176. Contracts will be reviewed upon submission to the Division (as part of the claims process) for completeness and validity according to the statute.

As a third-party locator, you may not imply or infer that you are an employee of the Division of Unclaimed Property nor contracted to work with the Division of Unclaimed Property.

Submitting a claim as a third-party locator

When you are ready to submit your unclaimed property claim as a locator (on behalf of the property owner), there will be additional documentation you will need.

Required documentation

Please do not submit your claim until you have all required items listed below.

Documentation required to prove ownership of unclaimed property

The Division of Unclaimed Property requires a certain amount of documentation and evidence that proves the ownership of the unclaimed property.

Please visit Prove Your Ownership for a complete list of these requirements.

Documentation that you are a licensed private investigator

You must provide a copy of the documentation that you have a current license as a private investigator with the Tennessee Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission.

For more information on obtaining or verifying your license, please visit the Commission's website.

A valid contract, signed by both the claimant and the locator

All contracts must be submitted with the claim for approval by the Division of Unclaimed Property.

Per Tennessee Code Ann. § 66-29-176: An agreement by an apparent owner and a person, the primary purpose of which is to locate, deliver, recover, or assist in the location, delivery, or recovery of property held by the treasurer, is enforceable only if the agreement:

  • Is in a record that clearly sets forth the nature of the property and the services to be provided;
  • Is signed by or on behalf of the apparent owner;
  • States the amount or value of the property reasonably estimated or expected to be recovered, computed both before and after a fee or other compensation to be paid to the other person has been deducted;
  • Does not provide for compensation of more than ten percent (10%) of the value of the recoverable property or fifty dollars ($50.00), whichever is greater; and
  • Contains such other information as the state treasurer may, by rule, require.

NOTE: If the contract involves the recovery of property that has not yet been reported to the treasurer, please refer to Tennessee Code Ann. § 66-29-176 for specific guidelines and requirements.

Collection of fees for service

All unclaimed property payments will be made directly to the owner/claimant. It is the locator's responsibility to collect their fee from the owner/claimant.

Contact Us

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

Unclaimed Property Division—Claims

(866) 370-9429

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