How to Register Unclaimed Land

by / Monday, 19 November 2012 / Published in Blog

For a long time courts have mandated that unclaimed property be registered to the state of the owner’s last known address. If that owner remains unknown, or the owner maintains domicile outside of the country, the unclaimed or abandoned property is to be registered with the holder’s (the person who has current possession of the property) state of domicile. Land is included as abandoned property.

State law defines unclaimed or abandoned property as a liability a company owes to an individual or entity when an obligation has not been met in a given period of time. However, state law varies. Check abandoned property law for the state in which the property remains to comply.


Find out who last owned the unclaimed land by checking title records or recorded deeds at the county recorder’s office. Because unclaimed property law first acknowledges the state in which the owner holds domicile, the holder must determine who last owned the unclaimed land.

Compose a Notice of Due Diligence between 60 to 120 days prior to registering the unclaimed land. The notice informing the owner of the unclaimed property must include the date of notice, the holder’s contact information, the last date of activity and instructions on how to claim the property. Mail the notice to the owner’s last known address.

Complete an online search to find the website of the registering state’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Use the state in which the notice was mailed as the registering state.

Use your state as the registering state, if the owner could not be determined in Step 1.

Complete the required paperwork. Use the registering state’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property’s website or contact phone number to obtain the necessary paperwork for registering the unclaimed land. Be sure to obtain a holder identification number for reference.

Mail the paperwork to the address provided by the website for registration by the deadline. Look up the dormancy period, or length of time the land was inactive, for the registering state. Also, be sure to use the same contact address used for the Due Diligence notice.

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