Are there any restrictions imposed on finders under Ohio law?
Yes. In order to allow the owners of unclaimed property time to claim the funds on their own, a person interested in entering into an agreement to act as a finder is not permitted to initiate any contact with an owner of unclaimed funds until the funds have been with the Division for more than two years. Finders are not permitted to engage in finding activity for the recovery of funds reported to the Division without a valid certificate of registration; and finders are prohibited from operating under an invalid finder’s agreement.
Engaging in finder activity in the State of Ohio under an invalid finder agreement or without having first obtained a certificate of registration from the Director of Commerce is a misdemeanor of the first degree for a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree for any subsequent offense.
Where can I find more information on the laws and rules regulating finders in Ohio?
You may refer to the Division’s laws and regulations on-line by clicking on the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 169.
How can I apply for a finder certificate of registration?
To obtain an application for finder certification, email your name, address and telephone number to UNFDFinders@com.state.oh.us. You also may submit a request in writing to Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 S. High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 or by calling toll free at 877-644-6823.
Along with the completed application, registrants will need to provide
- 2 non-family character witness statements,
- a color photo,
- Secretary of State registration if operating as a business,
- a copy of your finder agreement template that meets all of the requirements in R.C. 169.13, and
- a criminal background check to ensure there were no criminal offenses within the last 10 years.
Does the Division have unclaimed funds for county surplus funds, tax overages, and foreclosures?
No. Tax overages, foreclosures, and surplus fund items are handled by the county in which the property is located. You would need to contact the county treasurer and/or county auditors for the specific county or counties related to finder activities. Each county has their own policies and procedures regarding finding activities. The Division does not have contacts for the counties regarding these matters.