Unclaimed property returns more than $12 million

CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE)State Treasurer John Perdue’s unclaimed property division returned more than $12 million to West Virginia rightful owners in fiscal 2017, preliminary records show.

Initial calculations show the division returned $12.4 million in the 2017 fiscal year ending June 30. The total came on 8,112 claims.

“Each year we strive for better ways to reunite owners with their assets,” Treasurer Perdue said. “I’m very, very proud of what we’ve done this year, particularly considering the harsh budgetary climate under which we have been working. It’s a tribute to our staff.”

Holders of unclaimed property reported $30 million on 5,104 receipts. Examples of holders are banks, businesses and other entities which complied with the law in reporting unclaimed property to the Treasury. Unclaimed property is any asset from which a person has been unintentionally separated, such as a left-behind utility deposit, abandoned safe deposit box contents and liquidated stock proceeds and dividends.

Unclaimed property holders must report the last known address for that person. Upon transfer to the Treasury, thus begins the process of finding rightful owners, through the efforts of field representatives, two published newspaper inserts a year and a well-maintained website at www.wvtreasury.com.

“We use all tools at our disposal,” Treasurer Perdue said.

An additional weapon in the arsenal is an automated letter system. Many owner addresses are outdated. Updated databases are plotted against existing names and automated letters generated.

That proactive approach netted 131 claims filed, totaling more than $100,000. “We greatly look forward to expanding that program,” the Treasurer said. “That will be a keen focus as we enter fiscal 2018.”

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