Unclaimed Personal Property

I. Scope

This policy applies to all George Mason University faculty, staff, students, university contractors, and the general public.

II. Policy Statement

This policy governs the care, restitution, sale, destruction or disposal of unclaimed personal property, whether lost or abandoned, in the possession of the University in compliance with University Regulation and the Code of Virginia.

A. Tangible Personal Property Other than Motor Vehicles

1. The University, upon receipt of lost property, shall make reasonable efforts to give notice to any person the University determines reasonably appears to be the owner.

2. The property shall be held by the University for a period of at least 120 days.

3. The University shall allow a claim of ownership upon satisfactory proof of it and payment of reasonable charges for storage or other services necessary to preserve the property.

4. After the 120-day period, the University may sell the property to the highest bidder at public auction or by sealed bid at whatever location the University reasonably determines affords the most favorable market for the property. The University may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if it considers the price bid insufficient. The net proceeds of any sale hereunder shall be held for a period of ninety days and if no claim is made thereon within that time, such funds shall be credited to the University ‘s operating fund.

5. If the University determines that the probable cost of sale of property will exceed the sale proceeds, the property is inherently dangerous, or the property may not lawfully be sold or used, the University may provide for any such property, as appropriate under the circumstances, to be destroyed or discarded at an appropriate location, retained for use by the University, or donated to an appropriate charitable organization.

6. Any sale held hereunder shall be preceded by reasonable notice thereof, considering the type and value of property. Such notice shall include (as a minimum) the posting on a student bulletin board and publication in the student newspaper. The University, by the same time, shall mail notice of the sale to the last known address of any person the institution determines reasonably appears to be the owner.

B. Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles abandoned on University property shall be disposed of according to ordinance adopted pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 46.2 by the city, town, or county in which the University property is located. Notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 46.2, the proceeds of any sale of a motor vehicle abandoned and unclaimed on University property shall be credited to the University’s operating fund after the ninety-day holding period.

C. Intangible Personal Property

Whenever any intangible personal property is believed to be abandoned or unclaimed on University property, it shall be administered as provided in Article 3 of Chapter 25 of Title 55.1.

III. Definitions

A. “Unclaimed personal property” refers to personal property, whether lost or abandoned, in the possession of the University.

B. “Intangible property” includes, by way of illustration, (i) moneys, checks, drafts, deposits, interest, dividend income; (ii) credits, customer overpayments, gift certificates, security deposits, refunds, unpaid wages, and unidentified remittances; (iii) stocks and other intangible ownership interests in business associations; (iv) moneys deposited to redeem stocks, bonds, coupons, and other securities, or to make distributions; (v) amounts due and payable under the terms of insurance policies; and (vi) amounts distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under a plan to provide any health, welfare, pension, vacation, severance, retirement, death, stock purchase, profit sharing, employee savings, supplemental unemployment insurance or similar benefit.

IV. Dates:

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Provost.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:


V. Timetable for Review
This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.

VI. Signatures

Senior Vice President for
Administration and Finance

Provost and Executive Vice President

Date Approved: 4/27/2015

Revised: 3/5/2021