Colorado State Auditor Issues Report Critical of State Unclaimed Property Division

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State Watchdog Finds Claim Processing and Other Deficiencies

The Colorado Office of the State Auditor recently issued a Report reviewing the performance of the Colorado State Department of Treasury, Division of Unclaimed Property. For those who don't want to read the full report, a summary of the key findings can be found here. The Auditor expresses the concern that the Division "is not fully meeting its core responsibility under the Unclaimed Property Act to reunite citizens with lost or forgotten property." As support for that conclusion, the Auditor notes the following:

  • The Division has not mailed notification letters to the owners of unclaimed property since March 2005 (representing over 1.5 million notifications that have not been issued);
  • The Court failed to process claims within 90 days (as required by statute) in nearly half of cases, with at least one claim taking more than a year and a half to process;
  • More than half of the claims reviewed by the State Auditor, were "identified as duplicate, incomplete, inaccurate, or questionable that did not represent valid claims."

The Auditor's recommendations to the Division are also notable in that most of them amount to suggestions that the Division simply comply with the applicable laws already in force relating to owner notice, claims processing, and claims payment. In light of the Report, owners of unclaimed property have some reason to be hopeful that the Division's claim processing performance will improve.