Unclaimed property is generally defined as a liability a company owes to an individual or entity when a debt or obligation remains outstanding after a specified period of time.

An uncashed payroll or dividend check is a common type of unclaimed property. The value of the negotiable instrument represents the debtor’s obligation to the payee. When the payee does not extinguish the debt by cashing the check, this creates a property right protected by state unclaimed property laws.

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