As of a last estimate, “The North Carolina Department of State Treasurer holds nearly $600 million in unclaimed property”. This roughly translates into one in eight North Carolinians have unclaimed money lying with the state treasury.
In the past year, over $39 million in unclaimed property has been returned. Like most of the other states, North Carolina’s unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds, and contents of safe deposit boxes that typically have been abandoned for one to five years.
According to the State Constitution, the interest earnings on the fund go to needy and worthy North Carolina public university and community college students.
The North Carolina General Statute 116B-55 states that “Financial institutions, hospitals and other businesses forward unclaimed tangible property, such as coins, jewelry, stamps or silver, to the Unclaimed Property Program after the owners abandon these items and cannot be located.”
If you think that you might be the owner of unclaimed money, then the following check list can be applied to retrieve the unclaimed cash:
Search www.nccash.com to locate your name in the unclaimed property database.
You can print a claim form from www.nccash.com or call (919) 508-1000 to request a claim form.
Attach the requested proof of ownership and mail it to the Unclaimed Property address on the bottom of the claim form.
Sign the claim form. If the amount is greater than $50, you must have your signature notarized.
The Department of State Treasurer also provides a staffed booth at conferences, fairs and meetings.
North Carolina is one of those states where an official provision is made to utilize the unclaimed money towards college funds. According to the legislation,
• The interest earned on the funds goes to the State Educational Assistance Authority (SEAA) in the form of grants, loans and scholarships to North Carolina college students attending public universities and community colleges.
• In 2009, the unclaimed property program assisted over 88,000 students.
In light of this, the citizens of North Carolina should be proactive in utilizing all the channels for claiming their lost funds. The last few years have seen State Fairs being held in October where an unclaimed money booths are set up, where the North Carolina citizens can search for unclaimed funds. This booth is organized and managed by NC Cash, the State Treasurer’s unclaimed property program.
State Treasurer, Janet Cowell, has urged the state residents to stop by the NC Cash booth to search for their unclaimed property. “Last year, attendees discovered over $140,000 in unclaimed property at the State Fair,” Cowell said.
“There are about one million properties currently in the database so there is a one in eight chance that a NC citizen is owed money.” In 2008, almost $40 million of unclaimed property was reclaimed by its rightful owners and the largest reclaim volume of 4400, in three years, was processed last month, with a total refund of over $6 million.