JACKSON, Miss.- Unclaimed property, a lot of Mississippians have it and don’t even know it. One Hinds County woman had a nice surprise waiting for her at State Treasurer Lynn Fitch’s office from an old insurance policy; that surprise, $158,000. The check was awarded to her last Monday.
“One of the most rewarding things we do is restore unclaimed property to its rightful owners,” said Treasurer Fitch. “One in five Mississippians has unclaimed property at the Treasury. We see people every day who have discovered funds from old accounts they forgot they even had.”
The Office of the State Treasurer uses a proprietary mapping program that can help locate the geographic origin of unclaimed property. The large sum returned last week was matched to its owner with the help of this technology. “We are always working proactively to reconnect rightful owners with their unclaimed property,” added Treasurer Fitch. “We are using innovative methods to make both holder reporting and claims processing easier.”
If you have plans to visit the State Fair, you can stop by the Unclaimed Property booth at the Trade Mart where the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property staff have computers and claim forms to assist Mississippians in searching for their unclaimed funds or securities.
Unclaimed properties are sent to the Office of the State Treasurer regularly by companies that have not been able to locate the rightful owners. Those holders of unclaimed property are required by law to file those reports every three years. 2014 is a reporting year, and Treasurer Fitch is encouraging businesses and organizations to meet the November 1st deadline to report unclaimed property.
“Many times, a company is holding a utility deposit or interest on an old account, and they can’t locate the customer,” Treasurer Fitch explained. “Maybe the business has the incorrect address for the customer or the check mailed to the customer was never cashed. By law, those funds must be turned over to the Treasurer’s Office after five years.”
To search for unclaimed property or learn more about holder reporting responsibilities, you can visit the Treasurer’s website at www.treasurerlynnfitch.com.