Randy Yohe Published

W.Va. Unclaimed Property Funds Returned At Record Setting Pace

Stacks of $100 bills are seen stacked on top of another.
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot whittles down to a cash value of a little more than $750 million.

West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore said his office has returned more than $3.6 million worth of unclaimed property during the month of May.

“It’s really a testament to the work of my staff and my employees,” Moore said. “It is also the legislation that we had passed in the legislature a couple of sessions back that helped us modernize the Unclaimed Property Act.” 

Unclaimed property is not real estate, but financial accounts or items of value where the owner has not initiated any activity for one year or longer. Examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards.

“Many times these are financial instruments that have gone dormant or not acted upon,” Moore said. “It could be a life insurance policy, a safety deposit box or securities such as stocks and bonds and things of that nature. They’re then turned over to the state Treasurer’s Office, and then it is the state Treasurer’s job to return that property.”

Moore said that legislation that helped expand unclaimed property advertising and the ability to file claims online has helped increase public returns at record levels, along with new programs like West Virginia Cash Now. 

“That allows us to just send automatic checks out when we verify individuals on our end,” he said. “$100 to $5,000 is the range of monetary value of those checks.”

Moore said the total unclaimed property cash pushed out for this fiscal year stands at a record breaking $24.3 million. He said there are multiple ways to check to see if you have unclaimed property funds.

“You can search your name on our online database at wvunclaimed property.com, or you can click on our website, wvtreasury.com,” Riley said. “Click on the unclaimed property button and you can search your name, your wife’s name, brother, sister, uncles and cousins. Let people know that they have unclaimed property because you never know what you might have in there.”

A demonstration of how to use the Unclaimed Property search site is available on the Treasurer’s YouTube page, at: https://youtu.be/K09yQ7YNKlE. To search for lost financial assets outside West Virginia, visit www.MissingMoney.com

Nationwide, nearly 33 million people in the United States – one in every 10 – are estimated to have unclaimed property available for them to claim.