June 21, 2024

National Unclaimed Property Day: How to see if you have forgotten funds

Jennifer Bullock and Ava Boldizar

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Feb. 1 marks “National Unclaimed Property Day.” The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds is marking the unofficial holiday by once again encouraging Ohioans to search for and reclaim their lost or forgotten money.

Unclaimed funds are lost and forgotten money from inactive checking and savings accounts, last checks from former employers, overpayments and more.

Better Call 4 and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds regularly remind residents to claim that cash — belonging to them, but kept by the state.

“We keep the money, forever, until the rightful owner claims it,” said Susie Wagner, program administrator for the Division of Unclaimed Funds.

Last year, the division said Ohioans searched for unclaimed funds more than 4.3 million times, and filed for more than 43,000 claims. 

As a result, more than $139 million dollars in lost or forgotten money was returned to its rightful owners. Still, the division is currently safeguarding more than $4 billion dollars. 

That’s why the month of February is “unclaimed funds month” — an effort encouraging Ohioans to search for any missing money belonging to them, their family members, friends or neighbors — through three easy steps.

“All you need to do is go to our website, it’s unclaimedfunds.ohio.gov, and we lead you through the three-step process. The first step is searching your name, to see if you have a claim,” Wagner said. “Step two, is to review that documentation. Provide the supporting documentation we need.”

Documentation includes a copy of a driver’s license, social security number and proof of address. Step three is to send the documents to the Division of Unclaimed funds through the mail or online.

 “So, we’re really just trying to match that information that was reported to us, and make sure that you’re the rightful owner… and then we would love to, we WANT to, mail you a check!” Wagner said.

Wagner said there is no time limit or deadline when it comes to claiming those funds.

The division holds onto them until they are claimed. Once a claim is initiated, Wagner said it can take up to 120 days to review the paperwork and get the money to its owner — which will come as a check in the mail.

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