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Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property refers to property that is presumed abandoned because it remains unclaimed by its owner for a specified period of time ("dormancy period"). Typical unclaimed properties with the University are check payments and wages. While each state defines differently the dormancy periods for unclaimed properties, such periods are generally between one to five years. For example, the Illinois dormancy period for unclaimed wages is one year; after one year of being unclaimed, wages are presumed abandoned. Once the dormancy period is fulfilled, the unclaimed property is given over to the state treasurer's office. Any person attempting to claim such property must do so through the state treasurer's office. (Illinois | New York)      

Please note that for 2017 and earlier years, Accounting Services managed the unclaimed property process for the University, including unclaimed accounts payable and payroll checks. For 2018 and onward, Tax and Regulatory Services manages the unclaimed property process.


September 2017
Effective January 1, 2018, the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA) will replace current Illinois unclaimed property law, establishing new dormancy periods and amending certain provisions.

September 2017
Update: Filings for unclaimed property presumed abandoned in 2016 are now complete – University-held unclaimed property were due to the states by May 1, 2017. Please visit the state treasurer's office of Illinois or New York to search for your check if you were unable to respond before the due date. 

Unclaimed property letters for the calendar 2016 filing period were sent out with a February 13, 2017, date. If you received a letter from Accounting Services, please review the letter in detail, make the appropriate selection, and return the letter with supporting documentation as requested in the letter, postmarked no later than April 17, 2017*, to the following address:

Accounting Services
Northwestern University
619 Clark Street, Room 217
Attention: Unclaimed Property
Evanston, Illinois 60208

*See Update, above.

Questions related to your specific letter or the process in general can be sent to Tax and Regulatory Services. Please contact the office via email or phone; visiting the office will not result in immediate payment or resolution of questions or issues.


Shawn Cabinian
Business Regulatory Compliance Administrator