Unclaimed Funds

The Geauga County Auditor maintains a listing of the funds, which are considered to be unclaimed and are unable to be disbursed to the party due to either a party’s failure to cash the checks within the 90-day time frame or the lack of a valid address. The county is required to maintain these funds per section 9.39 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The claim form for any unclaimed funds may be downloaded here.

About Unclaimed Funds

The Geauga County Auditor maintains a listing of the funds, which are considered to be unclaimed, and are unable to be disbursed to the party due to either a party’s failure to cash the checks within the 90-day time frame or the lack of a valid address. The county is required to maintain these funds per section 9.39 of the Ohio Revised Code, which states:

All public officials are liable for all public money received or collected by them or by their subordinates under color of office. All money revived or collected by a public official under color of office and not otherwise paid out according to law shall be paid into the treasury of the public office with which he is connected to the credit of a trust fund and shall be retained there until claimed by its lawful owner. If not claimed within a period of five years, the money shall revert to the general fund of the public office.

How do you claim funds?

If you would like to search the online database for unclaimed funds within Geauga County, go to the search form at the top of the page and follow the instructions. The claim form may be downloaded here. If you find funds that belong to you or someone you know, you can print the claim form, complete it and return it to us for processing, or, if you are unable to print the form, you can submit the information on-line to us and we will mail a claim form to you. The address for Geauga County Auditor’s Office may be found at the top of the claim form. Please Note: funds paid in to unclaimed funds by court order - such as Sheriff's sale - require a court order to release the funds.

Completing the Claim Form

Please complete and sign the claim form in the presence of a notary public. Return the completed form in its entirety with any necessary documentation to the Geauga County Auditor’s Office, 231 Main Street, Annex 1A, Chardon, Ohio, 44024.

Documentation

Necessary documentation includes but is not limited to: a clear photocopy of a document with the original owners name on it, the original check(s) if available, a Power of Attorney signed by the original owner or copies of the death certificate and letter of authority naming the executor of the estate. Possible items that meet the photocopy documentation requirement are: driver’s license, State of Ohio ID card, or similar. Please make sure that the photocopy is clear and legible.

Processing of Claim

Once we are in receipt of the completed form and have verified the accuracy of the attached documentation, we will proceed with the processing of the claim. (NOTE: The Geauga County Auditor’s Office has the right to request additional information that may delay the processing of the claim.) The claim usually is processed in approximately 7 – 14 days. The funds will be issued to the Claimant and sent to the Claimant’s address unless otherwise specified.

1. What are some examples of the unclaimed funds held by the County Auditor?

Funds held in the County Unclaimed Funds account are:

  • Vendor Payments
  • Child Support Payments
  • Lost Heir Accounts
  • Proceeds from Sheriff's Sale
  • Restitution Payments
  • Jury/Witness Fees

2. What are some examples of proof of claim?

A clear photocopy of a document with the original owner's name and Social Security number on it, such as the Social Security card, driver's license or State of Ohio ID REQUIRED FOR ALL CLAIMS (note: The Social Security number will be held in the strictest confidence and used only to establish rightful ownership of the unclaimed funds.) The original check(s) IF AVAILABLE.

3. If I am not the original owner, or the owner is deceased, how do I prove the claim?

First, you must show that the account belonged to the original owner (see #2 proof of claim). Second, you must prove that you are the rightful recipient of the funds, and you are legally entitled to claim these funds for the owner, such as if the owner is incapacited or deceased. If the owner is incapacitated, proper documentation from the Court to show a guardianship, custodial, or Power of Attorney relationship, and a court order, or permission from the guardian or custodian is required.

If the original owner is deceased, a copy of the death certificate and letter of authority naming the executor of the estate is required. We will not pay a claim based solely upon a will or death certificate. If a paid, professional finder is claiming the funds, a Power of Attorney signed by the executor is also required. (NOTE: The Geauga County Auditor's Office reserves the right to contact the original payee directly to confirm a Power of Attorney).

4. Will I be intitled to interest?

Interest is not paid on any account.

5. Will I be charged a fee?

The Geauga County Auditor's Office does not charge a fee to claim funds. If you have contracted with a professional finder to claim you funds you may be subject to pay a fee to them according to your contract.

6. Where can I find a notary?

A Notary Public can be found at your local bank, city and county offices, police and sheriff's departments or most attorneys.

7. How long will it take to get my funds?

Once the claim form is received in our office, processing takes approximately 7 - 14 business days.

8. What is a paid, professional finder?

A paid, professional finder is someone who is in the business of trying to find the owners of unclaimed funds. You do not have to use a finder to file a claim.

9. If I use a paid, professional finder to claim my funds, where will the check be mailed?

The check is issued in the name of the paid, professional finder and the owner of the funds. The check is then mailed to the paid, professional finder. The Geauga County Auditor's office does not hire paid, professional finders or any other third party to help locate the owner of unclaimed fund.