CHARLESTON — State Treasurer Riley Moore on Thursday announced his Office returned more than $2.5 million worth of unclaimed property payments to residents, businesses and local government agencies during the month of April.
“As West Virginians are struggling with rising fuel costs and inflation, we’re continuing to see a strong flow of unclaimed property claims coming into our Office,” Moore said. “This is the third straight month in which we’ve paid out more than $2 million in claims, and I encourage everyone to keep checking our website — www.wvtreasury.com — to see if we’re holding any money for you.”
The State Treasurer’s Office returned a total of $2,548,059 worth of unclaimed property during April. The Office tallied 2,528 completed claims paid out during the month – an increase of 45 percent over the 1,744 claims paid during March.
Moore said it’s not surprising to see a jump in claims as people cope with rising inflation costs.
“With consumer prices jumping more than 8 percent, people are feeling the pinch in their bank accounts,” Moore said. “Everyone could use a little extra right now to make ends meet, so it’s more important than ever to see if you have any unclaimed cash out there in your name.”
The Marion County Board of Education recently said they would use the proceeds from a $115,000 unclaimed property check to offset rising fuel costs for their school bus fleet.
The Treasurer’s Office has also taken its unclaimed property message straight to the gas pump. The Office recently placed video ads for the program on pumps equipped with TV screens to help educate motorists about the program.
“Everyone who’s filled up their tank lately has felt the pinch in their wallet, so it made sense to take our message about unclaimed property directly to them at the pump,” Moore said. “This is your money, and you need it now more than ever — so I’m encouraging everyone to check and see if we’re holding any cash for you today.”
Individuals interested in searching for unclaimed property in their name can visit www.wvtreasury.com and click on the ‘Search’ button on the “Are We Holding Your Money?” graphic.
What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property can include financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for one year or longer. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. (While the title includes the word “property,” it does not however include real estate.)
West Virginia’s unclaimed property laws protect the public by ensuring money and property owed to them is returned to them, rather than remaining permanently with financial institutions, business associations, governments and other entities. The Treasurer seeks to reunite the unclaimed property, including uncashed paychecks, stocks, or safe deposit box contents, with its owner.
Nationwide, nearly 33 million people in the United States — one in every 10 — are estimated to have unclaimed property available for them to claim.
How Can I Find Unclaimed Property in My Name?
West Virginians searching for lost financial assets can go to www.wvtreasury.com, then click on the large Unclaimed Property “Search” button to the right of the page under the heading, “Are We Holding Your Money?” In addition to finding property, the www.wvtreasury.com website will also help you track a claim.
A demonstration of how to use the Unclaimed Property search site is available on the Treasury’s YouTube page, at: https://youtu.be/K09yQ7YNKlE.
To search for lost financial assets outside West Virginia, visit www.FindMyFunds.com or www.MissingMoney.com.