Understanding Unclaimed Property in Michigan

Unclaimed Property in Michigan

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Michigan, you’ll want to exhaust every opportunity to ease the financial burden. Buying a home is a massive commitment and throughout the home buying process, it’s important to get all the money off the table and into your pockets. Unclaimed property in Michigan is one of those small things that can relieve a little bit of the pressure.


What is Michigan Unclaimed Property?

Michigan unclaimed property are assets that have been left inactive or forgotten by their rightful owners. These can include security deposits, refunds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, or dormant bank accounts. Maybe you switched phone service providers ten years ago and there was a refund on your account from a subsequent overpayment that you never received. Checking into your unclaimed property will get you that money back. It’s sort of like getting your coat out for the first time after a summer of not needing it to discover cash in the pocket.

Unclaimed property can also be linked to an address. For instance, the previous owners of a home you’re purchasing might have unclaimed property linked to the home, such as utility deposits or property tax refunds. In any case, these surprise pocket finds aren’t usually significant enough to make a profound impact on the monetary mountain that is buying a home, but unclaimed property, in some cases, can reach into the thousands (although it’s more common to amount to a couple hundred dollars). At the very least, you might gain some relief from moving expenses or some extra home decorating cash to personalize your new home with. This extra boost might be particularly helpful for first-time homebuyers, who might be overwhelmed by the financial commitment of buying a home.


How to Find Unclaimed Property in Michigan

Searching for unclaimed property in Michigan is straightforward with the Michigan Department of Treasury’s dedicated website. You’ll start by entering your name, address, or, if applicable, business name into the search fields. For a thorough search, try different variations of names and addresses to capture all potential matches. If you’re investigating unclaimed property linked to a newly purchased home, consider searching for previous owners to see if there are any forgotten assets associated with the property. If you find unclaimed property for previous owners, you can claim the funds and forward them to the rightful recipient, ensuring the unclaimed assets are returned to their intended owners. This process not only helps you discover potential financial benefits but also contributes to the responsible transfer of assets.

Once you’ve identified potential unclaimed property, the actual claiming process is relatively simple. Start by selecting the property you wish to claim and follow the on-screen instructions to complete and submit a claim form. You will need to provide proof of identity and documentation supporting your claim, like a copy of your driver’s license, social security number, or proof of your address. After submitting your claim, the Michigan Department of Treasury will review the provided information and process the claim, which isn’t always instant and can take several weeks.


Financial Benefits of Unclaimed Property for Home Buyers

Just like that $20 you found in your winter coat isn’t going to make a dent in paying your mortgage, recovering unclaimed property probably isn’t going to significantly tame the financial beast that is buying a home. Still, these funds can be used to offset closing costs or help pay for home improvement projects, making the process of purchasing and settling into a new home a little bit more affordable. If you’re looking for more ways to alleviate some of the financial burden of buying a home, you can explore different down payment assistance programs or talk to your Treadstone lender about what mortgage programs fit best with your financial needs.


Other Unexpected Savings When Buying a Home in Michigan

There are some additional ways you can save when buying a home, including the potential for capital gains tax exclusions or transfer tax refunds.

Additional Financial Considerations
Homebuyers can uncover significant savings through capital gains tax exclusions. Capital gains tax exclusions allow homeowners to exclude a substantial portion of the profit from the sale of their primary residence from taxation, provided they meet certain criteria. This exclusion can result in considerable tax savings, freeing up more funds for the purchase of a new home.

Homeowners should also be on the lookout for transfer tax refunds that can be claimed if a real estate transaction qualifies for a refund due to overpayment or specific exemptions. In some cases, a transfer tax attorney might notice that you have a missing refund before you realize it, and they may reach out to work with you on getting those funds for you, although they will charge you a percentage of the return.


Cover All Your Bases Before Buying a Home

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the financial commitment of buying a home in Michigan, take a breath and let our lenders guide you. We will work with you to find the best mortgage solutions for your specific financial needs.



How much unclaimed property could I potentially find?
The amount of unclaimed property you could uncover varies widely based on individual circumstances. Unclaimed property can range from small amounts like forgotten utility deposits or uncashed checks to larger sums like insurance payouts or dormant bank accounts. In some cases, the total can even be substantial, particularly if multiple sources of unclaimed property are discovered.

What if I find unclaimed property for the previous homeowner?
If you find unclaimed property for the previous homeowner, you cannot claim it for yourself. However, you can take steps to ensure the property is returned to its rightful owner. Notify the previous homeowner, if possible, about the unclaimed property you discovered. You can also contact the Michigan Department of Treasury with the relevant details so they can attempt to locate and notify the former owner.

Are there other ways to save money when buying a home in Michigan?
There are plenty of ways to save when buying a home in Michigan, from down payment assistance to programs designed for first-time homebuyers. Contact your Treadstone lender to learn more!

It's important to get all the money off the table and into your pockets