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$1M in unclaimed property returned

CHARLESTON — State Treasurer Riley Moore announced Monday his Office’s Unclaimed Property Division returned more than $1 million to individuals, businesses and other groups during the month of September.

“We had a strong month of returns in September and expect to continue that momentum in October as we raise awareness of available unclaimed property through our newspaper insert and digital marketing campaigns,” Moore said.

The Unclaimed Property Division paid a total of 1,462 claims during September, totaling $1,037,765. 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.

The strong month of returns came ahead of the publication of the State Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Bulletin, which will begin running in state newspapers on Oct. 14.

The Unclaimed Property Bulletin is a partial listing of roughly 14,000 of the more recent properties reported to the State Treasurer’s Office. While it contains several thousand listings, it is only a fraction of the nearly 3 million total listings of unclaimed property currently being held by the Treasurer’s Office.

“We want people to know that even if you don’t see your name listed in this newspaper bulletin, it doesn’t mean you don’t have unclaimed property out there in your name,” Moore said. “That’s why we encourage everyone to visit our website — www.wvtreasury.com — and click on the ‘search’ button right there on the homepage to scour our entire database for property that might be in your name.”

The newspaper bulletin distribution will be staggered across the various newspapers throughout the state over a period of three weeks. The first group of newspapers will run the bulletins the week following Oct. 14, with the rest of the bulletins to be published the weeks of Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.

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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.

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