COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Monday, February 1 has been named the first-ever National Unclaimed Property Day, to call attention to unclaimed money across the country.
Here in Ohio, there’s a lot of money in the state’s Division of Unclaimed Funds.
“We have a little over $3 billion sitting with us,” said Akil Hardy, Superintendent of the Division of Unclaimed Funds.
The agency holds on to checks, stocks and bonds, even utility deposits, turned over by companies that are not able to get the money to the rightful owner.
“The property owners, or the owners of those accounts, may move or change their phone number and they fail to update the holder of those funds with the correct or current contact information.”
There is not just cash. The state also holds onto safety deposit boxes and the contents range from stamps to rare coins, even a purple heart.
The good news for Ohioans is, those items and all of that money are not going anywhere.
“We hold onto it until the owner shows up,” said Hardy. “Even if it takes us 10 years to find you, that money will still be with us.”
The process to see if you have any money or items sitting with the state is simple. Type your name into the “Find Missing Money” box on the Department of Commerce’s website. It only takes a few minutes.
If you have funds to claim, Hardy said unlike other states, that money collects interest here in Ohio. That could mean a bigger payout to you.
“We put the funds into an account that’s interest-bearing. And by law, any interest that’s accrued, we have to pay out to the claimants.”
According to Hardy, the average claim is worth about $1,500.