Franklin Countys First News

Maine Legislature helps return unclaimed property to residents

AUGUSTA - Each year the State Treasurer issues an invitation to the Legislature to participate in a competition to return unclaimed property to Maine citizens. Republican, Democratic and Independent members of both the State House and the State Senate vie for the Unclaimed Property Performers of the Year award presented by State Treasurer Terry Hayes. This year’s contest wrapped up last week, and for the fourth year in a row, the Republicans in both the House and the Senate returned the most property to their constituents.

History has shown that the elected members of the Legislature know many of their constituents. Treasury shares a list of local residents who have unclaimed property in its database with the Senators and Representatives in February. Hayes believes this is a great way to bring awareness of the Maine Unclaimed Property program to both its elected officials and its citizens.

“I am grateful for the participation and effort that members of both the House and Senate put towards this campaign," Hayes said. "The combined efforts returned $1,848,074 to the rightful owners in two months. While we present the UPPY trophies to the winning caucuses each year, the real winners are Mainers.”

Individual high performers include Rep. Beth O’Connor of Berwick who returned more than 27 percent of the new unclaimed properties to her constituents; Rep. Jeff Timberlake of Turner who returned more than 25 percent; and Representative Steve Wood of Sabattus who returned more than 23 percent. Rep. Abden Simmons of Waldoboro returned more than 77 percent of the value of unclaimed property to his constituents, followed by Rep. Mastraccio of Sanford who returned more than 74 percent of the value and Rep. John Spear who returned more than 71 percent of the value to his constituents.

At present, the Treasurer holds $235,905,736 of Unclaimed Property. It is easy and free to file a claim. To search our database and file a claim, go to https://www.maine.gov/upsearch and follow the prompts.

Unclaimed Property consists of money and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of inactivity. It includes items such as bank accounts, uncashed checks, life insurance proceeds, unpaid wages, stocks and dividends, refunds, and safe deposit box contents.

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