County closes year with $3.7 million in unclaimed property

Published 12:28 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Many know that feeling of joy when forgotten money appears in their pant pocket when doing laundry. Pockets are not the only place forgotten money appears in, as millions of dollars are in Frankfort just waiting to be claimed. 

Jessamine Countians currently have $3.7 million of unclaimed property in Frankfort.

There are 32,988 properties and 365 shares of stock that are unclaimed and based out of Jessamine County, said OJ Oleka, director of unclaimed property in the Kentucky State Treasury office.  

The Kentucky State Treasurer administers the unclaimed property fund for Kentucky.

Unclaimed property generally consists of payroll checks, unclaimed safety deposit boxes, old life insurance policies, stocks, and vendor checks that have remained unclaimed by their owners after several years.

After a period of time – usually three years – banks and other financial institutions turn over the unclaimed property to the Kentucky State Treasury, according to the Treasury’s website. 

“There is currently a little less than $500 million of unclaimed property across Kentucky,” Oleka said. “Every year we return unclaimed property, but then we receive some as well. The $500 million has been adding up since the 1940’s.” 

The Kentucky Treasurer’s office has returned $25 million just this year, Oleka said.

“Today, my office returned a little over $500,000 in Unclaimed Property to Kentuckians. Talk about Holiday cheer,” Treasurer Allison Ball said on Twitter on Dec. 8.

Years ago, citizen volunteers tried to contact people who had unclaimed property.

“We tried to get the money back to private citizens,” East said.

The Kentucky Treasurer’s office encourages people to go online to the existing database, and check if they have unclaimed property. 

Currently, the unclaimed property fund contains assets with a total value of nearly half a billion dollars. These are assets are owned by Kentucky residents and Kentucky local government agencies.

However, there are scams regarding unclaimed property.

“The official representative of the state unclaimed property programs, NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators) warns consumers to be on guard against fraudulent letters about unclaimed property that arrive through the U.S. Mail and email. This particularly deceptive message often appears on fake NAUPA letterhead and requests money be sent to claim the property.

“Periodically, the Unclaimed Property Division will advertise to Kentuckians to initiate a claim to receive their unclaimed property,” The Kentucky Treasurer’s Office website said. “Once in the custody of the Treasury, it remains in custody of the Treasury forever unless claimed by the rightful owner.”

To view unclaimed property visit www.missingmoney.com.