State Treasurer Henry E.M. Beck said Tuesday that his office returned a record amount of unclaimed property to Mainers during the fiscal year that ended Tuesday.

Beck said the office paid out $17 million to more than 30,500 claimants. The number of individual property owners paid beat the previous record set in fiscal 2018 by more than 1,000 claims.

Unclaimed property consists of money and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of inactivity. It includes items such as bank accounts, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, stocks and dividends, refunds and safe deposit box contents.

“During this difficult time in our state, it’s great to know we have been able to continue to return money to Mainers who rely on these payments to live each day,” Beck said in a prepared statement. “Our office has remained fully functional throughout the pandemic and will continue to seek out and return property to rightful owners.”

Currently, the state treasurer holds $261 million worth of unclaimed property. To file a claim, go to maineunclaimedproperty.gov and follow the instructions or call 624-7470 for assistance.

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