State returned millions in ‘forgotten’ money in 2023 — here’s how to find out if you are due some

N.J. Unclaimed Property Administration returned record $202.95M to more than 70K people in Fiscal Year 2023

Let’s start with this statement: This isn’t a scam — it just sounds as if it is.

The truth is, nearly 33 million people in the U.S. have unclaimed property (which often is money) that could be worth thousands of dollars. If that’s you, the state of New Jersey will help you get it back.

Here’s how it happens: Whether it’s a bank account, an unclaimed insurance payout, a utility deposit or even actual property, people sometimes forget they own something.

How to look

Anyone can search for their name here or here for free to determine if a state is holding their property. Individuals are encouraged to search their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit.

When the owner of “property” goes three years without activity, the property is turned over to the state. (Want to see if you have unclaimed property? Click here.)

The state has programs to get this property back to its rightful owners. And it has been incredibly successful doing do.

The New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration returned a record $202.95 million in assets to rightful owners in Fiscal Year 2023, the result of 73,686 claims filed with the agency.

This effort far surpassed UPA’s previous record, set in Fiscal Year 2022, when $164.13 million in assets were returned via 50,867 claims filed.

More than $2.4 billion has been returned since the inception of the program.

Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio describes it this way.

“Our Unclaimed Property Administration works tirelessly all year long to support their overarching mission of recovering and safeguarding funds for New Jersey residents,” she said. “Our team returning more than $200 million during a time of inflation and economic uncertainty is a wonderful example of what public service can accomplish for our state.”

UPA’s Outreach Team focuses on reuniting abandoned property with its owners through various outreach initiatives, including mass mailings, media campaigns and attendance at state fairs, community centers and other public locations and events throughout the year. The administration works with legislative district offices to communicate with constituents, and, last year, over 24,000 people were reached through this collaboration.

UPA also publishes a list each summer in newspapers across New Jersey of all of the names of people who had property turned over to the state within the past year. Last year’s ad included nearly 225,000 names.

Administrator Steve Harris said his team is happy to help.

“Every year, we try to improve upon the previous year’s total returned, and our team worked very hard to reach people and organizations we may not have reached in the past,” he said. “I’m thrilled with how many people have searched for free on our website,, or met with a member of our outreach team and found money that we’ve been holding for them.”

While certain third-party companies will charge a fee to connect individuals with their assets, there is never a charge for searching UPA’s database or for claiming property on the state’s secure website. Once approved, the asset is returned to its rightful owner with interest.