LAS VEGAS — The number of Nevadans claiming uncashed paychecks and other unused assets was way up in June compared with last year, after the treasurer’s office published its annual list of such property in newspapers statewide, officials said Tuesday.
State Treasurer Kate Marshall gave partial credit to the advertising blitz for attracting 11,131 claims in June, up about 4,600 from the same period last year.
The state computer system has also become easier to use, she said, and the process of verifying a claimant’s identity has been streamlined.
“We’ve been steadily growing,” Marshall said, noting the state is now returning about 48 percent of the unclaimed assets and property it receives, up from about 16 or 17 percent in 2007. Her office returned about $35 million in assets last year.
Residents have tracked down everything from life insurance policies they forgot about to abandoned safe deposit boxes with military medals and keepsake photos inside.
“It’s just amazing what people don’t realize they have,” Marshall said.
The state maintains a searchable database of assets such as uncashed payroll checks, unreturned utility deposits and unused gift certificates. If businesses can’t track down the rightful owner — usually after three years — the unclaimed assets must be directed to the state of the person’s last known address.
Nevada’s unclaimed property division is currently safeguarding about $650 million. Unclaimed money is transferred to the state’s general fund until the state locates its owner or people lay claim to the property.
“I take very seriously the mandate that we’re supposed to try to find these people,” Marshall said. “It’s not our money. I assume these days that we can all use it.”
Residents can search the database by visiting the Nevada treasurer’s website at www.nevadatreasurer.gov.