5 On Your Side

5 on Your Side surprises man with unclaimed money

Posted December 1, 2010 5:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2010 6:27 p.m. EST

When Geff Bitler answered his phone recently, he was sure the person on the other end was trying to sell him something. As it turned out, the person was trying to help Bitler get money.

“Every time somebody calls and asks for Glenn Bitler Jr. … I go by Geff, so I thought this was a solicitation call,” he said. “And then she told me what it was about, and I was pretty excited.”

Five on Your Side called Bitler to let him know that he is owed more than $3,200, according to the North Carolina Treasurer's unclaimed property list.

“I thought it might be $100 or something, but $3,000 is pretty significant,” he said.

Bitler said he thinks the money is a refund from his homeowners insurance, which likely got lost because he's no longer at the same address. He went to the treasurer's website to file a claim and got even more good news.

“My wife's here. My parents are on here. My brother-in-law in Charlotte is on here,” he said. “And there's one person I don't know. There's not many Bitlers around. There's one down in Fayetteville that's on here. I might even call him and make a new friend.”

So how will he spend it?

“I've got twins that are freshmen in college and there’s a lot of bills. And it seems like every time you turn around they're increasing the tuition, so it's nice to have some found money. It's great,” Bitler said.

It pays to check the state treasurer's site to see for forgotten money from old bank accounts, insurance payments, utility deposits, even forgotten paychecks. In North Carolina, call 919-508-1000 or search online.