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The Michigan Department of Treasury might be holding on to your unclaimed money

U.S. bills layered on top of each other including tens, twenties and fifties.
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There might be some money being held for you by the State of Michigan that you simply don’t know about.

State law requires abandoned financial assets to be turned over to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

These could be things like an uncashed paycheck, money from dormant bank accounts or the contents or value of a safe deposit box that hasn't been used in some time.

When these items are turned over, they get sent to Michigan Unclaimed Property. The department has an easy-to-use online database to see if any of the assets are yours to claim.

Terry Stanton is the state administrative manager for Michigan Unclaimed Property.

"We have a rather extensive search engine. You can search just the last name, first name, last name, a county, a city," Stanton said.

If you see property that’s yours, you can initiate a claim and the state will gather some information to see if you are the rightful owner. Heirs to unclaimed property can also make claims.

Michigan Unclaimed Property says more than $500 million has been returned to people in the last five years.

Stanton says many of the claims are worth less than $200 but, although rare, million-dollar claims aren't unheard of.

"We hear often from claimants about, 'Hey, thank you. This helped me pay my property taxes or helped me keep my house.' And we're not necessarily looking for accolades like that. We're just glad that we we reunite the property with its owner," Stanton said.

Stanton adds there’s no deadline for claiming property that’s in the state’s custody.

“Properties are claimable in perpetuity. So, if something was reported to us in the '80s, or '90s, and we have those types of properties. ... They are always claimable,” he added.

Karel Vega served as radio news managing editor at WKAR from 2020 to 2023.
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