Frequently Asked Questions
What is unclaimed property?
Generally, any financial asset, usually money, that has not been claimed by its owner or has not
had any owner-generated activity for a period of time, usually five years. This includes:
- savings accounts
- checking accounts
- stocks and bonds
- insurance proceeds
- uncashed payroll checks
- customers’ overpayments
- old utility deposits
- How does property become unclaimed?
State law says that property becomes "unclaimed" when the owner does not respond
to attempts by the holder of the property (for example, the bank, insurance
company, brokerage firm or utility company) to contact the owner of the account
after the account has been inactive for a period of time, usually five years. If
the owner does not respond or cannot be contacted, the property is then sent to
the State to hold on behalf of the rightful owner until the owner can be found.
As long as you can show proof that the property belongs to you, you can always
claim your property.
- How far back do the records go?
South Carolina’s Unclaimed Property law went into effect in 1971. However, there
are some accounts that date as far back as the 1940’s.
- How long do I have to claim the money?
There is no time limit. The rightful owner always has the right to claim the
- What if the original owner is deceased?
The Personal Representative for the estate can make a claim on the property by
providing a copy of the death certificate, a currently dated Certificate of
Appointment from the Probate Court, as well as proof of ownership of the
- Is there any charge or fee for this program?
No. There is no fee for this service whether or not property is found under your
name. If you are contacted by an individual or firm offering to return property
to you for a fee, contact the Unclaimed Property Program Offices
BEFORE YOU SIGN
AN AGREEMENT. You can call us at 803.737.4771.
- What type of proof is needed to verify a claim?
There are two types of proof that need to be satisfied for every claim before it
is paid. The first is the proof that the person making the claim is actually
that person. The second is proof that ties that person to the funds being
claimed. The claim form, which must be completed and submitted to the Unclaimed
Property Office, clearly outlines the exact types of identification that must be
- How do I find out whether there is unclaimed property in my name?
- To search the Unclaimed Property Program database now for your name, click
Unclaimed Property Search to activate a search.
- Call the Unclaimed Property Program at (803) 737-4771 between 8:30 am and
5:00 pm Monday through Friday.
- Write us at:
- Unclaimed Property Program
- State Treasurer’s Office
- Post Office Box 11778
- Columbia, SC 29211
- or email us at:
Be sure to
include your full name, any previous names, current and previous address(es) in
South Carolina, and work and home telephone numbers.
- What if I have lived in another state and left money there?
Property is reported to the last known residence, so if you lived outside of
South Carolina, you should check all states in which you have lived. You can
check other states for free by going to
and also as
Sponsored National Database).