Local News

State Auctions Unclaimed Property

Posted July 15, 2001

— One of your family heirlooms might have been on the auction block at the State Fairgrounds Saturday. The state treasurer's office is selling unclaimed property - including coins, jewelry, even a baseball signed by Catfish Hunter.

Most of the valuables being auctioned off came from safe deposit boxes that people just forgot about. The treasurer's office says you should talk to your family to see if they have stashed any property that has your name on it.

"They need to check with family to see if they have a safe deposit box and if they're continuing to pay that rent, because after a certain amount of time, the banks will drill those deposit boxes, and that's where we get our items," said Shirley Fowler, director of the North Carolina Escheat and Unclaimed Property Fund.

The treasurer's office doesn't just collect unclaimed property. They also keep a database of unclaimed money.

"Amazingly enough, you might not think you do, but you might have paid a utility deposit years ago, and moved away, and we might have it on our system, so I encourage people to do that," said Fowler.

All you have to do is type in your name to find out if there's money waiting for you. You never know what you might find.

"Actually, I was at the Kentucky State Fair about five years ago and they had the same service. My husband's father had died, and we checked and found some money that's available," said Sammye Lucas, who attended the auction.

Checking to see if your name is on the list can be valuable. Last year, more than 7,000 North Carolinians got refunds totaling $10 million.

Money raised from Saturday's auction will help provide loans to college students.


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