NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Have Your Forgotten Something?

Have You Forgotten Something?


Since 1975, the North Dakota Unclaimed Property Division has worked to reunite individuals with property that they have misplaced or lost.

"Property" in this case does not mean land, but consists of uncashed checks, unused bank accounts, and other property such as stocks and bonds that has not been claimed by the owner for a specified period of time (generally two to five years). In some cases the property was missed in the probate of an estate, or it may have simply been forgotten by the owner.

The division acts as custodian of these unclaimed funds from banks, insurance companies, hospitals, utilities, retailers, local governments, and other entities.

Once a year, any business operating in the State of North Dakota is required to check its accounting records for dormant accounts, outstanding checks, credit balances, unclaimed securities, etc. Once the property is identified, the business owner needs to notify the property owner at the last-known address to give them an opportunity to recover the property. If the contact attempt is unsuccessful or the owner doesn't respond, the business owner must turn the property over to the Unclaimed Property Division. Annual reporting is required whether or not the business has any funds to remit

Once the money is reported to this division, efforts are made to "reunite" the property with its owner in the following ways:


-         Maintaining a searchable website that can be searched by name and by city.

-         Advertising once a year in the legal section of every county newspaper in the State.

-         Displaying a list of owners at premier North Dakota trade shows, such as the State Fair in Minot.

-         Doing radio and television public service announcements and interviews.

-         Producing direct mailings to last known address on selected properties.

Over the years, nearly half of the money that has been collected by the North Dakota Unclaimed Property Division  has been returned to owners. North Dakota has consistently been among the top five states in the nation in terms of percent of collections returned to owners.

The State guarantees that this money will be held forever for the rightful owner or the owner's heirs.

All citizens of North Dakota benefit from property that remains unclaimed, since the interest earned on this money is used to help fund public schools throughout the state. Currently, approximately $29 million remains unclaimed.

            Check the Divison’s website at: http://www.land.nd.gov for a current listing of all unclaimed property.  You may search the listing by last name.  If your name is on the ND unclaimed property list or if you think that you might have abandoned property with the State of North Dakota print the instruction page from the website or get in touch with the Unclaimed Property Division of the State of North Dakota Land Department by e-mail to llfisher@nd.gov. You may also write to:

                       North Dakota Unclaimed Property Division

                       PO Box 5523

                       Bismarck ND 58506-5523



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