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Politics & Government

New state program returns some unclaimed property automatically

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Office of Unclaimed Property's MONEY MATCH program is reuniting some Delawareans with over $3 million of their money.

The program returns some lost or unclaimed money to Delaware taxpayers without the usual need to file a claim or gather paperwork.


Delaware is the 7th state to implement such a system.

Last week, the state mailed checks to more than 19,000 people through the program.

MONEY MATCH matches the state’s unclaimed property database with verified address and taxpayer information so money can be returned to its rightful owners automatically.

Delaware State Escheator Brenda Mayrack says the program is limited in scope, and does not cover all unclaimed property.

"If it's property that was owned by a business or an estate, if it's gift card property, or securities property, because owners have different rights and obligations specifically for securities property, if they want to get the shares back where they want a cash payment, we're not able to include that type of property in this program," said Mayrack. "It's really just single owner, cash property up to a certain amount where there's an exact match."

Uncollected insurance payments and unreturned utility deposits are also included in the program.

More broadly, unclaimed property can include money left in old bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, uncashed paychecks, unused balances on gift certificates, and forgotten stocks and dividends.

So Mayrack notes some people might have other property not covered by this program that they need to file a claim to receive.

"Even if you don't get a check through this program, or if you do get a check for this program, we would encourage everyone to go to our website and look up their name, their family members names, any deceased family members names, and see if the state is holding other unclaimed property," said Mayrack. "Then we would just simply ask that they file a claim for that property."

Mayrack says MONEY MATCH covers a small portion of approximately 100 million dollars of unclaimed property the state returns each year. 

She adds if people are concerned the check they receive is part of a scam they can call or email her office for verification.