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DOR holds $5.19 million in unclaimed properties

In the past two months, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) delivered about $1.89 million in unclaimed property checks to 292 matched claimants, as part of its property matching program. Through the program, the DOR mailed 750 notice of unclaimed property letters in March, to claimants it matched with property worth more than $2,000.

The letters informed claimants of the property in their names, with instructions on how to claim it. Also during this time, the DOR mailed $3.3 million in checks automatically, to more than 32,000 claimants matched with property worth $2,000 or less.

“We are encouraged by the property matching program’s effectiveness and the response we’ve received to these letters so far,” said DOR secretary Peter Barca.

Of the 750 letters mailed in March, 450 remain unanswered, leaving about $3.5 million in matched property still unclaimed.

Unmatched claimants are those the DOR has a name for as a potential property owner, but lacks all necessary information to verify the match. Matches are often made when people search the DOR website for unclaimed property.

The unclaimed property search process takes seconds and is available to everyone. Once the DOR verifies a search match, it mails a check to the property owner.

The matching program was launched in June 2015, making the process more efficient, benefiting those taxpayers unaware they have unclaimed property.

Unclaimed property includes funds from savings or checking accounts, uncashed dividends, insurance policies, or other accounts that the owner may be unaware of or have forgotten. Banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other businesses must report unclaimed property to the DOR each year, by Nov. 1.

The property is held by the DOR for safe keeping until the owner claims it.