One in Eight North Carolinians Own a Share of $600 Million + In Unclaimed Property
To date, the state of North Carolina holds more than $600 million in unclaimed property. There are over 1 million names in the database, which means one in eight North Carolinians are owed money. The funds are kept in custody by the State Treasury Department, which pays out approximately $2.5 million per month to rightful owners.
Unclaimed assets include bank accounts, utility deposits, stocks and bonds, insurance policy proceeds, certificates of deposits, mutual funds, uncashed checks or unredeemed gift certificates, inheritances, and safe deposit box contents that have been abandoned for around three to five years. The amount of time varies depending on the type of asset. They become unclaimed because the holder loses track of the rightful owners or their heirs.
There could be a variety of reasons why holders lose track of rightful owners. Sometimes it’s due to an outdated address. Sometimes the owner gets married or divorced and leaves the area. Sometimes the owner passes away without leaving a will. People often lose track of all of their assets as they go through hectic times in their lives.
When it comes to unclaimed assets with interest, such as stock accounts, mutual funds, IRAs, and so forth, the owner can only get the original amount back. The interest is given to the State Educational Assistance Authority, which is given to college students in the form of loans and scholarships. Thousands of students are helped each year thanks to the interest from unclaimed properties.
The NC Dept. of State Treasurer assumed responsibility of unclaimed property in the state in 1970. The purpose of the unclaimed property program is to recover unclaimed or abandoned assets and reunite them with the rightful owner(s) or heir(s). There is no time limit in regards to filing claims. The state keeps unclaimed property in trust for the rightful owners and heirs forever. Only the interest is used to help students throughout the state pay for college.
What effort does the state make to reunite owners with their property? The Dept. of State Treasurer implements a statewide outreach program that includes setting up booths at conventions, festivals, fairs, and so forth. The media in North Carolina also works with the state’s unclaimed property program to help spread awareness to citizens.
The state list is updated every week on Monday mornings. Residents and businesses can check the North Carolina database to see if they are owed any money. If so, they can fill out an online claim form. They will also be provided with instructions on how to complete the form and how to submit it.
Certain documents are required in order for a claim to be processed. These documents vary in accordance to the type of property being claimed. They can include a death certificate, birth certificate, w-2 form, military records, proof of address, proof of address change, and so forth.