However, like I always say, that doesn’t mean you need to go crazy with your fee.
As long as it is something that is fair for both you and the person(s) owed money, you’ll do well.
Oregon charges $150 for their list. Just look at it as the cost of doing business. In most cases, you can also deduct it as a business expense.
Besides, even if you are only charging 10%, all you need to do is recover $1500 and you will make it back.
Also, as an Oregon Unclaimed Money Finder, the state will send the refund check directly to you!
The following is taken from the Oregon unclaimed money website.
What is an Oregon unclaimed money finder?
The administrative rules for Oregon´s Unclaimed Property Program, OAR 141-040-0010, define an ” Oregon unclaimed money finder” as any person who assists in locating the owners of unclaimed, abandoned or escheat property for a fee or commission.
What restrictions apply to Oregon unclaimed money finders?
Oregon statute ORS 098.352, provides that information on unclaimed property accounts is confidential for one year before being reported to the state and for two years after being remitted to the Department. For more information, see General Information to Finders below.
What information does the state make available to Oregon unclaimed money finders?
The Department of State Lands prepares an Oregon unclaimed money Finder´s Report of Unclaimed Property Accounts for those accounts with a value greater than $250. The report shows the name of the apparent owner, the value of the account, and, if known, the owner´s last known address.
How can an Oregon unclaimed money finder obtain these reports?
Finders should use the Finder Order Form to contact the Department to obtain copies of these reports. There is a fee of $150 for an Oregon unclaimed money Finder´s Report.
Private Dick? Oregon doesn’t really come out and say you need to be a private investigator to find unclaimed money in Oregon, but they direct you to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training for information on it, so I would assume you do.
Since this site is currently a work in progress, I will look into it after this page is done, not before, so if anyone has the answer and can let me know, please contact me.
General Information to Finders of Unclaimed and Escheat Property
STATE OF OREGON
Department of State Lands (DSL)
What is required in an Oregon unclaimed money finder Claim? When submitting a claim for a client, an Oregon unclaimed money finder must forward a copy of their current license with the initial Power of Attorney. Subsequent claims filed by the finder must include the current license number on the Power of Attorney.
Do I Need a License? Contact the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) for licensing requirements and information before purchasing a finder’s list at:
DPSST administers the Private Investigator Licensing Program for the State of Oregon in compliance with the requirements of ORS 703.401 – 703.470. Contact information: DPSST 4190 Aumsville Highway SE Salem OR 97317 Phone: 503-378-2100
Can I charge a Finder Fee? Oregon law does not restrict or prohibit the assessment of finder fees, and being licensed does not mean you work for the State of Oregon. An agreement between the finder and the potential claimant is a business issue between the two parties. Do not state that the finder fee you charge is consistent with Oregon law or indicate you are an agent of the State of Oregon when you contact a potential customer.
How do I order a list and what is the cost?
Cost: $150 per release- see order form for details on available lists.
To order: print an order form
Payment methods – See the Finder List Order Form for your options including: Cashier check, Money order, or Personal check (Make the check payable to Department of State Lands) Credit Card – VISA or Mastercard
The list may contain some or all of the following unclaimed account information: Owner’s name and co-owners Last known address Property amount* Type of property (wages, accounts payable, security, etc.) DSL reference number(s) *The value stated on the list may be an actual, estimated or combination value.
Unclaimed Asset Estate listing: A listing of devisees entitled to distributive shares from an estate, or an estate with unclaimed assets remitted as escheat property may be obtained from the address above. “Unclaimed assets from estates” are defined as assets of the estate due unknown heirs of the deceased person.
Why is there a fee for the list?
There is a direct cost to the agency to produce each listing and this cost is recoverable under ORS 98.050. The computer program format and listings were designed and developed because of requests by Oregon unclaimed money finders, heir search firms and researchers.
How far do the lists go back? Can I get the list in electronic format? Reported properties may be requested as a list after they have been held by DSL for two years. Any refunded properties at the time of publication are not included on the list. The lists are available for accounts paid to the Department from 1981. All lists are available in paper format or on a compact disk (CD).
Note: Our online owner search may not be used for commercial purposes. Oregon Revised Statute 098.352(4) provides that the information on unclaimed property reports is confidential for one year before being reported to the state and for two years after being remitted to the department.
How long does it take to get the list(s)? The list of owners of unclaimed property will be mailed upon receipt of a cashier’s check or money order. It generally takes less than 7 days for mail delivery, however, there is an additional waiting period of 10 days for all check payments other than cashier’s checks.
What do I need to know if I represent another person?
* Power of Attorney is required
* Claimant must sign the claim form
* Proof of ownership must be provided
1. Why is a Power of Attorney required? In order for you to act on behalf of an owner of an account which has been unclaimed or abandoned, you must obtain written, notarized authorization from the owner. This form of authorization is a “power of attorney”. A power of attorney may be granted by an individual and “limited” to a specific action or subject, or “general” in nature.
The claimant must sign the claim forms you submit to the Department to recover any unclaimed funds. The claimant must declare and certify that he or she is entitled to the account. In the case of an heir, successor by will, or by right of representation, the heir or personal representative of the estate must sign the claim form.
2. How do I obtain a claim form? Once you have made contact with an individual who may be the owner of an unclaimed account, and have obtained a notarized power of attorney, please submit a written request for the appropriate claim form. Also, include the account information as shown on the list with your cover letter. A claim form will be sent to you. You must have the owner sign the claim form.
Reminder: Provide the original power of attorney with your initial request. Provide a copy of your current license issued by the DPSST* *All finders must be licensed and comply with the requirements of ORS 703.401 – 703.470. You only need to write the current license number on the power of attorney on following claims.
3. What evidence is needed?
Once you have obtained the signature of the claimant on the claim form, submit it with evidence or proof of the claimant’s right to the property. Documentation may take several forms and is explained here. Please write to email@example.com if you have received a claim form and have specific questions about the proof needed. NOTE: We will be unable to assist you with specific advice on a particular property until we have the authorizations required above. NAME SIMILARITY WILL NOT PROVE OWNERSHIP TO AN ACCOUNT. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLAIMANT, THROUGH THE FINDER TO PROVE ACCOUNT OWNERSHIP.
What if the claim involves securities?
If a claim is for securities or a cashier’s check, the Department may require the claimant(s) to provide a lost instrument bond if the original certificate or instrument is not surrendered to the Department.
What if the claim involves a business or government entity?
Oregon Administrative Rule 141-040-0213 outlines the specific requirements for claims submitted on behalf of business and government entities. Be sure all power of attorney forms and other authorizations are dated within one year of the date of inquiry.
What if the claim involves a deceased owner?
If the account value is less than $1,000, the heir or successor may complete an Affidavit in Lieu of Probate as provided in OAR 141-040-0214 to recover the unclaimed account(s).
If the account is for more than $1,000, proof of probate must be submitted as evidence. If the estate is currently open, a current court-certified copy of letters must be submitted to support the claim. If the estate is closed, court-certified copies of the Final Order of Distribution disclosing all heirs of the estate must be submitted as evidence. A court-certified copy of the Affidavit of Claiming Successor (small estates affidavit) is required if a full probate was not necessary.
We will evaluate the evidence provided with the claim and accept or reject the evidence presented with the claim. If accepted, the claim will be approved and payment made. If rejected, the claim will be denied and the claimant or researcher will be advised of the option to request a hearing according to Oregon Administrative Rules. In certain circumstances, the Attorney General’s staff or designee may provide final approval of an escheat property claim, review certain cashier’s check claims or assist with any other legal issue(s).
Do claimants receive interest? Owners are not entitled to receive interest, or other income increments that accrue after the property is paid or delivered to the State of Oregon. See ORS 98.372
What if more than one person claims the same account? If multiple claims are received for the same account, all parties will be notified of the agency’s policy according to the particular circumstances.
How is the refund sent? If the power of attorney authorizes the funds to be disbursed to the finder, the check will be payable to the claimant and the finder, and mailed to the finder.
As you can see, there is a lot of money out there waiting to be claimed. If you would like to learn more about becoming an Oregon Unclaimed Money Finder please click here.