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Unclaimed Properties Division: A treasure awaiting you?

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Kathy Hey for the information in this story.)

There could be money or refund checks, an unclaimed insurance policy or other funds that you aren’t aware are due to you, family members or friends.

The Unclaimed Properties Division of the Michigan State Treasury is a holding facility for anything of value whose owner cannot be located.

If you had a savings account when you were a kid and then you forgot about it, the bank will only hold onto funds for so long if that account is inactive. If they can’t locate you, banks are required to turn the funds over to the state for safekeeping until the owner can be found.

Likewise, income tax refund checks cannot be forwarded, so if you moved, it goes back to the state, and from there into the unclaimed properties division awaiting your claim.

For example, my grandfather bought a life insurance policy on his oldest son (my uncle) in 1935. A week later, my grandfather died and everyone forgot about the policy. I found it last year and my uncle was able to claim it (unfortunately, it was only worth the money my grandfather put into it).

The unclaimed property division can be holding stocks, bonds, safe deposit box contents, utility deposits – anything of value.

I started putting names from the Chelsea phone book into the search engine, and you would not believe how many hits I got. Here a just a few of the names: Dallas Akers, John Bassett, Amy Berger, David Buku, William Cammet, Ed Greenleaf, and V.M. Barres.

I also got lots of hits on Chelsea names from the surrounding areas (Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti, Jackson) who could have moved here from those locations.

So, if you’d like to start a search, go to  On the right side is a drop down menu-go to unclaimed properties.

From there, go to Claiming Unclaimed Properties, and from there go to Michigan Money Quest.

On the next page, you will see a spot to put in a name. I check my family every year because you never know.

My deceased son’s last paycheck from EMU was in there last year. My sister’s late father-in-law’s savings account showed up earlier this year. Make sure you also check maiden names.

(Publisher’s note: if you decide to give this a whirl and are successful, please let me know. Email me at [email protected])

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