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West Virginia makes claiming unclaimed property easier

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - (WVVA) One in ten West Virginian's has unclaimed property sitting in the State Treasurer's Office in Charleston. That's what State Treasurer John Perdue says, "And with this pandemic going on, they have a lot more time on their hands to scroll through all of unclaimed property here in the treasurers office and and maybe find themselves unclaimed property, but find some loved one unclaimed property or some neighbor or someone into their church. That’s how we find people unclaimed property in the state.  Neighbors reaching out to each other, individuals reaching out to each other and being able to find unclaimed property and return huge amounts of money all the time.“ said Perdue.

The Unclaimed Property Division of the Treasurer's office upgraded the claims process, eliminating the need to mail-in documentation. Perdue says it can be filed completely on the internet, "Now you can go online and download your documents and you can do your claim and you can track that claim and know exactly when that claim is going, you’re going to get that claim in unclaimed property. And we are, now we’ve stepped into the new world of technology and making it a lot easier and having accountability and security on that to make sure we can return a lot more money in unclaimed property to our citizens of West Virginia.“ Perdue said.

The State Treasurer's Office has returned more than $227 million dollars since 1992 and Perdue says now, especially with their upgrades, is a perfect time for state residents to see if their name is on the list, "With this pandemic going on, they have a lot more time on their hands to scroll through all of unclaimed property here in the treasurers office and and maybe find themselves unclaimed property, but find some loved one unclaimed property or some neighbor or someone into their church. That’s how we find people unclaimed property in the state.  Neighbors reaching out to each other, individuals reaching out to each other and being able to find unclaimed property and return huge amounts of money all the time.“ said Perdue.

Unclaimed property is where tangible items kept in safety deposit boxes across the state wind up when those boxes are abondoned and the owners pass away or move away without a forwarding address. In February, 2020, Perdue says the biggest claim ever processed was paid out, "We returned the largest claim in the history of West Virginia, $1.7 million just this year in unclaimed property in the area of Bluefield. So that shows you, says a lot about where this money, you never know where this money is and how it falls through the cracks and getting it back to the rightful owners.“ Perdue said, adding the monies come from a wide variety of sources, " It can be bonds. It can be savings bonds. It can be stale dated checks. It can be stocks. It can be life insurance policies, which we have really pushed out there lately and in West Virginia we found a lot of life insurance policies that have been going unclaimed and we have been able to reach out and get that out there. And so there is so much of unclaimed property. It can be utility deposits, people moved from place to place, they make deposit on rent and things like that and it falls through the cracks.” said Perdue.

The new upgrades to the claim processing center usually connects people with their unclaimed property in sixty days or even less according to Perdue, adding it takes just a few minutes to get the process going if you find your name on the list. See the links to check for yourself.

West Virginia: https://wv.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/app/claim-search

Virginia: https://www.trs.virginia.gov/vaMoneySearch/Account/LogOn

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