What is Unclaimed Money in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, unclaimed money refers to money or property that has remained abandoned for a considerable length of time. It includes savings and checking accounts, commissions, insurance proceeds, wages, bonds, utility deposits, cashier's checks, money orders, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
Typically, businesses and government agencies report millions of dollars that have passed their dormancy period to their governing state as unclaimed funds. The state takes temporary possession of these funds (a procedure known as escheatment) until the rightful owner shows up to file a claim.
Arkansas-based businesses, financial institutions, insurance companies, and other organizations are mandated under the Arkansas Unclaimed Property Act to report unclaimed funds to the Arkansas Auditor's office.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in Arkansas
The Arkansas Auditor's office maintains an Unclaimed Property database that the public can use to find unclaimed money within state limits. The agency also compiles a government list of unclaimed assets that are worth more than $25 and have stayed dormant for more than two years. This list (called a Finder File) is offered in a zipped PDF file. Individuals who want to search for Arkansas unclaimed property can purchase the list for $25 using a credit card.
After paying for this file, the requestor will receive a link to download it via email. (The link typically expires after 48 hours.) Then, they may proceed to review the file to check if they have any unclaimed properties in Arkansas.
It is worth noting that there are also several third-party sites that can be used to search for unclaimed money in Arkansas.
How Do I Find Arkansas Unclaimed Money for Free?
Interested persons can find unclaimed money for free using the unclaimed property database maintained by the Arkansas State Auditor's office. Users will not be charged any fee to search for unclaimed funds or to submit a claim.
Also, many federal agencies hold unclaimed funds until the rightful owners or heirs can claim them. These agencies maintain databases online which interested persons can search to find unclaimed assets or funds in Arkansas for free. Some of these funds include:
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
Sometimes, United States residents overpay federal taxes. When this happens, the IRS subtracts the amount the individual should have paid and returns the balance. However, this refund may remain unclaimed due to various reasons.
An Arkansas resident can check the IRS unclaimed refunds database to confirm if they have unclaimed tax refunds. Upon discovering such funds, the individual can submit a claim on the site, visit the nearest IRS office in Arkansas for more information, or call the helpline at (800) 829-1040.
Unclaimed Veterans' Life Insurance Funds
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides life insurance policies to veterans who served in the armed forces. In some cases, these veterans do not cash out their checks, and the checks remain unclaimed. Veterans in Arkansas can search the VA unclaimed funds database for the unclaimed funds or contact the agency:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, North West
Washington, DC 20420
Phone: (800) 827-1000
Private Workers' Unpaid Pensions
Any Arkansas resident who worked in a private company can search the unclaimed pension database maintained by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for unclaimed funds. These funds are kept in 401k accounts or other private pension plans across the United States. Below is the PBGC's contact information for inquiries:
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200K Street, North West
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (800) 400-7242
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in Arkansas
Arkansas law requires government agencies and businesses to report unclaimed property to the Arkansas Auditor's Unclaimed Property (UCP) Division annually. In its efforts to reunite the owners of unclaimed funds with their money, the state auditor's office operates a publicly accessible database that individuals can use to search for and claim unclaimed funds in Arkansas. Below are the instructions for filing a claim:
Search for the money: This is the starting point for individuals who want to claim unclaimed money in Arkansas. Interested individuals can enter their last name or business name into the auditor's database to search for the unclaimed money. Individuals can also use their first name, city, ZIP code, or property ID to refine the search results. Afterward, the user can select the property in question and submit a claim for it.
Upload claim documentation: After submitting a claim, an individual must upload documents supporting their claim via the auditor's website. These documents are typically indicated in the claim form. In some situations, the claimant must submit original documents to the auditor via mail or in-person instead of online.
Claimants must follow certain specifications to upload documents online:
- The documents must be in a standard PDF, TIF, PNG, or JPG format
- The individual's file must not exceed 10MB but must be greater than 1 byte
- File names must be below 100 characters and contain letters, dashes, underscores, and numbers.
- Uploaded documents must not be password protected
- Individuals must carefully crop all images to fit the document
- An active email must be submitted when uploading claim documents
Check the status of a claim: A claim ID is always generated after submitting a claim for unclaimed funds in Arkansas. Individuals can input this number where indicated on the state auditor's unclaimed property website to check and confirm the status of their claim.
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in Arkansas?
The Arkansas Auditor's office tries to process claims for unclaimed money in Arkansas as quickly as possible. As such, anyone who has submitted a claim and all necessary documents can receive a check for the claim value within seven to ten business days.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Arkansas?
Only a deceased person's heir, a surviving family member, executor, or court-appointed probate administrator can claim unclaimed money in Arkansas. However, claimants must submit documents that support their claim. The appropriate documents are typically specified in the claim form mailed to the claimant. Once the state auditor's office receives the claim form and documents, its Unclaimed Property Division will process the funds and issue a check.
What Happens to Arkansas Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
The State of Arkansas has no deadline for individuals to collect unclaimed funds. As a result, the state auditor's office secures the money until the rightful owners appear. The agency runs advertisements and conducts other public outreaches as part of its continuous efforts to reach owners or their beneficiaries.
Can Someone in Arkansas Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. Anyone who lives in Arkansas but holds various properties or assets in other states may have unclaimed funds or assets in those states. Such a person can search the relevant government agency's database to find these funds and follow the designated steps to claim the money. Once an individual can supply documents supporting their claim, the agency will release the funds or assets.
Unclaimed money in the United States is public and can be accessed by anyone through official or non-governmental services. Third-party unclaimed money search engines are easy to use and deliver fast results not limited by geographic region. Users can typically search for unclaimed money through third-party search sites using just a full name or business name. However, because these sites are not government-sponsored, the availability and accuracy of results can vary.