Local News

North Carolinians Cashing In On Unclaimed Money, Property

Posted February 21, 2002

— How would you like to get a windfall of cash, money that you had no idea was coming to you? The state of North Carolina is holding more than $300 million that is just waiting to be claimed!

It is called unclaimed property and includes everything from jewelry to cash to forgotten paychecks and insurance claims.

Ken Ahlstrom is getting $860 of it.

"I didn't know," he said. "This is a shock to me. I had no idea!"

Hundreds more belong to other members of his family.

"My two brothers-in-law have got money coming to them, my sister-in-law and my wife. I couldn't believe it," he said.

Jamie Atti could not believe it either, but she has $814 coming to her.

So where is all of the money? It is in the hands of the state of North Carolina and has been collected from banks, employers and insurance companies, to name a few.

"We brought in more than $40 million this year," said State Treasurer Richard Moore.

A lot of the money comes from forgotten checking and savings accounts, rent and utility deposits and final paychecks.

Moore said for whatever reason, the original holder did not get the money to its rightful owner.

"What we're finding, more often, is that somebody keyed one letter off in somebody's name or one number off in an address," Moore said.

The wrong street is behind Jami Atti's "missing money."

"It was the right number, right city, right zip code, [but] wrong street," she said.

The $814 check was turned over to the state by Atti's former employer, who supposedly could not find her.

Ahlstrom's "missing money" is also from his employer. The check appears to be insurance money, though he is not sure.

"I've been a state employee for nearly 30 years and we've been at our address for 25 years. It's a mystery," he said.

There is also unclaimed property that the state calls


. Those items include coins, watches, jewelry and other items left in safe deposit boxes and at hospitals.

All of the property is just waiting to be claimed.

The State Treasurer's office posts

unclaimed property information

on its Web site.

"The important thing is you can't just look for your name. Look for one or two letters off and you may find some money that you're owed," Moore said.

To find out if any of the missing property is yours, check the list or call (919) 508-5979.


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