5 On Your Side

5 on Your Side helps school superintendent find ‘missing' money

Posted June 17, 2008

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— Extra cash can be hard to come by these days. That is why 5 on Your Side helps people find unclaimed money.

The cash comes from forgotten bank accounts, investments and insurance policies. If the company holding the money can't find the rightful owner, the law says they must turn it over to the state treasurer's Division of Unclaimed Property.

Among the roughly 1 million people with unclaimed money was N.C. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. June Atkinson. She said she was used to getting calls from journalists; however, she was a bit perplexed when 5 on Your Side left her a voice message.

“I thought ‘hmm, I haven't had any problems with anyone. This is gonna be interesting to find out the rest of the story,’” Atkinson recalled.

A search by 5 on Your Side found Atkinson had $1,350 of unclaimed money. Considering she oversees a $9 billion public education budget and that she has known about the state's unclaimed property fund for years, she said she couldn't believe that amount of cash slipped by her.

"As someone who watches over one's checkbook very carefully and watches over other people's money very carefully, I never would have thought that I had unclaimed cash,” she said.

The money was from a company she once did business with. Atkinson said she plans to donate most of the money, but spend a little on a special dinner.

“I'm also going to treat my husband to his favorite meal, king crab legs,” Atkinson said.

After learning about her missing money, Atkinson browsed the unclaimed property Web site and found out her husband had missing money too.

“I'm gonna charge him a commission,” she said about her find.

Atkinson's $1,350 brings the total amount of missing money found by 5 on Your Side to $248,440 .

To find out of you have unclaimed cash, call the Division of Unclaimed Property at 919-508-1000.

If you find missing money for yourself, let 5 on Your Side know.

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  • readyforgodswilltobedone Jun 19, 2008

    Yes I actually did this last year and it took 2 months for me to get a check for $128.00 for NJ where I was born. And my aunt told several of her co workers and 2 of them received checks over $3000 dollars. Unfornately my dead mother and brother has some unclaimed money and my dad just sent in the paper work.
    IT is not a scam or a joke it works.

  • Clinton Jun 18, 2008

    Alright, I have to post this.

    5 on your side did another piece about unclaimed cash. So, I went to the website they listed in the story. *I* didn't have anything since I have only lived in NC since 2001 but my husband did.

    After generating the claim form online and printing it out, I gathered all the paperwork necessary to prove my husband was who I said it was (had to have something showing his SSN on it as well as a current mailing address like a utility bill) and mailed it in.

    The website doesn't show how much your claim is worth. It took several months (about 5 actually) to receive a check but when we did - it was for about 93.00. It wasn't much but it was great to receive the check. When we did, I used it to pay the trash bill (64.00) and then we went to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse for a dinner for two.

    I would like to say thanks to WRAL's 5 on your side!! Without your original story - I wouldn't have known about the website!!