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'Tis The Season To Claim Missing Money

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Need a little extra cash for the holidays? The state is holding more than $500 million of unclaimed money.

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Kenneth Wilkins, deputy treasurer of the State's Unclaimed Property Program, said this is the time of year when institutions that have unclaimed money are required to report it and send it into the Treasurer's Office. As a result, piles of envelopes from stock companies to insurance providers to universities need to be opened, stapled and sorted.

The institutions do not write individual checks for each person, but they combine the totals. For example, one check for more than $500,000 has three boxes of names associated with it. All those individuals have part of that money coming to them.

Each of those names and the amount owed goes into the state database. The checks go to the bank, just waiting to be claimed by the rightful owners.

"So far, from the first of October through the first of November, we've put $86,900,000 in the bank," he said. "Every day we're putting money in the bank and new names on the list and we want to make sure they're checking on a regular basis."

Last fiscal year, the State Treasurer's office took in $89 million in unclaimed money. The rightful owners got about $24 million back, so officials said there's lots of money out there waiting to be claimed.

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