When a mineral rights owner’s identity or whereabouts are unknown, where does the money go? I know that most, if not all, states mandate that the bonus and royalty payments eventually go to the state unclaimed property division. At least some states though have some sort of procedure for where the money goes between the time it leaves the operator’s hands and when it gets to the unclaimed property division, whether it’s another state agency, a private third party or whatnot. If you happen to know what the law is for your or any other state, I would love to get your input. Thanks.
In Oklahoma, the Corporation Commission handles this (http://www.occeweb.com/cs/cs.html). You can actually search by name for an individual’s escrow account (http://www.occeweb.com/MOEASearch/). Good luck.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission does not handle any royalty monies and have nothing to do with the handling of any monies. In Oklahoma the monies are normally held by the operator, the purchaser or the state. I am not familiar with Michigan but in Oklahoma the purchaser or operator can hold the royalties just about forever, they have a time limit for paying in any bonus or rentals but if they meet requirements they can hold the royalties. I just helped someone get royalties from a purchasers that had been holding all accumulating royalties since 1976. The mineral owners name was not listed with OCC. Calling the operator is always the first place to start.