What is Unclaimed Money in New Mexico?
The term "unclaimed money" in New Mexico refers to any money or property that has been abandoned or unclaimed by its rightful owner. The state of New Mexico has a variety of laws and regulations governing the handling of unclaimed money which are specified in the NM Stat § 7-8A-7 of the New Mexico statutes.
Under the Unclaimed Property Act, all unclaimed money must be reported and turned over to the state of New Mexico by the holder of the property to the state through the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue. Following escheatment, the state then assumes custody of the property and attempts to locate the rightful owner. If the owner is not located within a certain period of time, the money or property is then auctioned off.
Under New Mexico law, unclaimed money may include, but not limited to:
- Dormant bank accounts;
- Uncashed checks;
- Abandoned safe deposit box contents; and
- Unpaid life insurance benefits.
Typically, the dormancy period allowable for each unclaimed property varies with the type of property. For instance, dormant bank accounts are those that have had no activity for a period of at least three years. Unclaimed checks are those that have been issued but not cashed within a year of their issuance date. Abandoned safe deposit box contents are those that have been left untouched for at least one year. And finally, unpaid life insurance benefits are those that have not been claimed by the policyholder or beneficiaries within two years of the policyholder's death.
New Mexico's unclaimed money laws are designed to ensure that rightful owners have a chance to claim their property, while also protecting the rights of those who may find the unclaimed funds.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in New Mexico
According to New Mexico law, unclaimed money can be found in a number of places. The state comptroller is required to maintain a list of all unclaimed property, which includes money and other assets. This list is available to the public, and people can search for their own name or the name of a business to see if any unclaimed money is owed to them.
Additionally, the state treasurer's office also keeps records of unclaimed money. People can search for their name on the treasurer's website or contact the office directly to inquire about any unclaimed funds.
Finally, many banks and other financial institutions also have programs in place to help people locate unclaimed money. These programs typically involve searching through databases of dormant accounts and other records. People can typically search for their name on the website of their bank or financial institution to see if any unclaimed money is owed to them.
How Do I Find New Mexico Unclaimed Money for Free?
New Mexico unclaimed money searches may be processed through the database of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators for free. The website is authorized by the government of New Mexico as well as other US states. Alternatively, requestors may use the Financial Managment Service website of the US Department of treasury which provides information regarding unclaimed federal assets. New Mexico state residents can also access unclaimed money through the following databases:
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in New Mexico
Upon finding the unclaimed property of interest, the claimant will be required to file a claim with the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue. To successfully file an unclaimed property claim with the department, the claimant must prove their ownership of the unclaimed funds or property. The required proof varies depending on the type of property and the circumstances under which it was abandoned.
The requirements also vary depending on the claimants status with respect to the property. The following is typically required to file a claim:
- A signed and notarized claim form;
- A government-issued photo identification and proof of social Security Number,
- Proof of the address provided
- Legal documentation establishing power of attorney, guardianship, custody or trusteeship to act on behalf of the original owner;
- Photo identifications of both the original owner and their representative
- A notarized statement of identity from a care provider on company letterhead (that is, if the owner has no ID due to incapacitation)
- Proof of address may include, auto registration, bank or utility statement, birth or marriage certificate, court documents and credit report.
If the claim is being made for a business, the claimant will have to provide the following:
- Legal documentation of business ownership
- Government-issued ID
- Signed and notarized claim form
- Proof of business Federal Employee’s Identification Number (FEIN)
- Proof of address
The claim may then be submitted online, in-person or via mail at:
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue
1200 South St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87504
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in New Mexico?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the type of unclaimed money and the agency that is holding it. However, in general, the process of getting unclaimed money in New Mexico can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.
For example, persons who have unclaimed money from a tax refund or an uncashed check may be able to get their money relatively quickly. The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department have an online database where interested persons can search for unclaimed money. If their name appears on the list, they can submit a claim form and typically receive their money within a few weeks.
Other types of unclaimed money, such as insurance benefits or utility deposits, may take a bit longer to receive. The New Mexico Department of Public Regulation has an online database of unclaimed property, which includes insurance benefits and utility deposits. Persons can search for their name on the list and, if they find a match, submit a claim form. The agency will then begin the process of verifying the claim and issuing the payment, which can take several weeks or months.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, the unclaimed money or unclaimed property of a deceased person may be claimed by the following persons:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased person
- A child of the deceased person who is 18 years of age or older
- A grandchild of the deceased person who is 18 years of age or older
- A parent of the deceased person
- A sibling of the deceased person who is 18 years of age or older
- Any other heir at law of the deceased person who is 18 years of age or older
If there is more than one person who is eligible to claim the unclaimed money or unclaimed property of the deceased, then the money or property will be divided equally among those persons.
As outlined by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, If the owner is deceased and the claimant is a legal representative, they will be required to submit following evidence to support their claim:
- Substantive entitlement to funds under applicable heirship laws and a copy of the death certificate, and
- Proof that the owner lived or received mail at the address as listed such as bank or utility statement, birth or marriage certificate, court documents, or credit report
However, the aforementioned specifications applies to claims for property of a decedent whose estate was not previously subject to probate or where probate was previously closed.
What Happens to New Mexico Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
The length of time it takes to process and receive unclaimed money in New Mexico depends on the organization holding the funds and how quickly they are able to verify the rightful owner. In some cases, it can take weeks or even months to process the claim. However, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process:
- Have all the necessary documentation, such as a government-issued ID and proof of address
- Include any supporting documentation, such as bank statements or canceled checks, that can help verify ownership of the unclaimed funds or property
- Be patient and follow up with the organization periodically to check on the status of the claim.