Unclaimed Property in Wisconsin Laws and Regulations

Learn how to find and return property with WI unclaimed property laws and regulations

Unclaimed property in Wisconsin laws and regulations are based partially on the common law of property. This generally means that unclaimed property is property which has left the rightful owner’s possession without directly entering another owner’s possession.

The disposition of Wisconsin state unclaimed property depends on the specific circumstances under which it is found. There are three types of unclaimed property:
  1. Lost property is found in a location where the owner did not intend to leave it and is not likely to find it. The finder of state of Wisconsin unclaimed property is entitled to possession against everyone but the true owner. One exception to this rule occurs when a trespasser finds lost property while on private land.
  2. Mislaid property is found in a location where the owner did intend to leave it and simply forgot to pick it up. Mislaid property must be returned to the owner.
  3. Abandoned property is found in a place where the owner intended to leave it. However, the condition of the property is such that it is unlikely that the true owner intends to reclaim it. Abandoned property belongs to the finder.

Learn about the laws regarding the owners of state of WI unclaimed property

Laws on unclaimed property are frequently used to determine the circumstances under which property must be returned to the owner. Unclaimed property laws and regulations are a resource for owners who wish to locate their unclaimed property. Contact the Wisconsin State Treasurer to locate Wisconsin treasury unclaimed property.
Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing addresses the return of unclaimed property in the form of earnest money to its owner.

Examine laws on holders of Wisconsin unclaimed properties

Unclaimed property laws describe the requirements for holders of unclaimed property to return the property to the rightful owner. They can determine when ownership of the unclaimed property passes to the holder.
Wisconsin Legislature offers extensive information on the rules for holders of unclaimed property in Wisconsin.

Review unclaimed property in WI for finders

Unclaimed property laws for finders address procedures for how finders charge owners for locating, delivering, recovering or assisting in the recovery of their unclaimed property. Unclaimed property laws for finders may also cover the rights of the state to recover compensation for unclaimed property.

  • The Uniform Unclaimed Property Act is a key piece of federal legislation that affects Wisconsin unclaimed property. The Act seeks to address the problems of unclaimed property that arise from its origins in English common law. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws first drafted the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act in 1981 and last revised it in 1995.