403.3 Lost and Unclaimed Property

Portland State University may hold or come into property that is lost or unclaimed, or for which the owner is unknown or cannot be found. When this occurs, the holder of the property incurs obligations to safeguard the property, to make reasonable attempts to locate the owner, and to dispose of the property according to applicable statutes. PSU seeks to ensure that the policies and procedures related to lost and unclaimed property are documented, communicated, clearly understood, and consistently applied.

ABANDONED PROPERTY: Property is presumed to be abandoned when it has been held for the owner and remained unclaimed for more than five years. The five year period begins with the date of the last transaction with the owner regarding the property. This definition does not apply to recovered property that was lost, stolen, or discarded and the owner is unknown. Abandoned property must not be placed on the supplies or equipment inventory.

  • Inactive Agency fund Accounts: Funds held in an Agency Fund Account that has been inactive for five years are deemed to be abandoned if the owner cannot be found.
  • Safeguarding Abandoned Property: The holder of abandoned property must provide reasonable care consistent with the value and nature of the property.
  • Property Records: A record should be maintained identifying, if known:
    • Description and identification number, if any
    • Owner's name and last known address
    • Date the property was due and available to the owner
    • Date of the last transaction with the owner regarding the property
    • Attempts to locate or contact the owner
  • Disposition of Abandoned Property: Property presumed to be abandoned is reported to Portland State University’s Controller. The report should contain all available information listed in the Property Records section for all unclaimed property greater than $100. PSU will prepare the necessary reports and make the fund transfers to the Division of State Lands. The report is prepared annually as of June 30 and sent to the Division of Lands by September 1. All due diligence of notifying owners is to be done by August 1st.  The Division of State Lands receives all abandoned property. If the owner cannot be found, the property is advertised and sold at public auction. Proceeds are placed in the Common School Fund. Any person claiming an interest in abandoned property that has been delivered to the Division of State Lands should be referred to that Division.

RECOVERED PROPERTY: When lost, stolen, or discarded property is recovered, or when a person finds money or other property valued at $25 or more, and the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the finder is required to:

  1. Within ten days, notify the county clerk of the county where the property was found. The notice should be in writing and describe the property.
  2. Within 20 days, have notice of the finding published in a general circulation newspaper in the county. The notice is to be published once a week for six weeks. The notice must describe the property, give the name and address of the finder, and state the final date when the property may be claimed. The final date for claiming the property is six months after notice to the county clerk.

If no person establishes ownership within six months of the notice to the county clerk, the finder becomes the owner of the property. If a person establishes ownership, he must pay all costs incurred by the finder upon receipt.