RSA 471C is the law regarding abandoned and unclaimed property and how you
can recover it. One example is when a financial institution holds your money
in an account, and there has been no owner initiated account activity,
or you have not communicated regarding the account for a period of five years,
the institution presumes it is abandoned.
At this point the institution reports and remits it to the State Treasurer
who acts as custodian of the property.
The reported owners name is advertised statewide in a newspaper and a notice
is sent to the owners last known address as reported.
Upon establishing ownership you may reclaim your property from the
Treasury Abandoned Property Division.
What is the Unclaimed Property Act?
Property Act provides for the identification, recovery, and safeguard of dormant accounts or
forgotten properties and their return to the rightful owner(s).
How long must an account be dormant before it is considered abandoned?
In New Hampshire most property types are presumed
abandoned or unclaimed if there has been no account activity
for five (5) years. However, wages, payroll or salary and
utility deposits are presumed abandoned or unclaimed after one (1) year.
What happens to abandoned property that remains unclaimed?
Within three (3) years of being reported the money is transferred to the
states General Fund and in part to the various County Treasurers,
helping to reduce some of the individual tax burdens.
However, the rightful owner retains the right to claim the
property and this right is never lost.
Who may claim abandoned property?
The reported owner, estate, lawful heir, or duly authorized representative.
What is the claim process?
Filing a claim form and presenting documentation
to establish your identity and ownership of the property
is required. For further information and to obtain a claim form contact the
Division of Abandoned Property.
What should I do if someone offers to help me
locate unclaimed money for a fee?
Call our office first (800) 791-0920 (NH only) or (603) 271-2619.
Signing an agreement to have someone assist you in recovering unclaimed property
may require the payment of substantial fees.
Such an agreement is unenforceable in New Hampshire if it covers property which has
been in the State's custody for 24 months or less.
Is there a time limit for claiming my property?
No. The State only acts as custodian for the money until
the rightful owner comes forward to claim it.
Is there a charge for claiming my property?
No. The money is available to you at no charge.
However, in the case of liquidation or re-registration of securities
there is a nominal processing fee of $20.00.
Do I need to appear in person to claim my property?
Not necessarily. Most claims can be processed by mail.
Where can I find a notary public?
Check with your local bank, insurance company, attorneys office, county, city or town offices.
Does the State simply go in and take the money?
No. The statute is in place to protect your property.
It requires holders of properties to account for them and
deliver them to the Treasury.
Unclaimed property is remitted to the State only
after two things have occurred:
There has been no activity on the account for the applicable dormancy period, and
The holder has attempted to contact the owner at the last known address.
If these are unsuccessful, then the money is remitted to the State.