What's all the fuss?

Unclaimed Property
Apr 27 2015

By Regina Higginbotham, Unclaimed Property Division

 

Have you seen it? It’s the talk of the town, maybe the whole state, for that matter!  The West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office has just released a partial listing of owner names that have Unclaimed Property held by the Office. The bulletin came out this month and contains almost 13,500 names. Still, that is only 1% of the over one million available properties within the database.

With all those names, how is it decided what gets listed in the insert? The property value must be at least $50 or stock or safe deposit box contents not previously advertised. All Workers Compensation property is required to be advertised regardless of the amount.

West Virginia Code §36-8-9 states that a “notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation” not later than November 30 of the year following the receipt of the abandon property. Per that requirement, inserts were provided to 56 different newspapers around the state for their customers. The Office will need to publish a second bulletin later in the year in order to include all of the remaining names of newly received property owners before the November 30 deadline.

Even if your name has been published before, it is possible we are now holding additional property for you which would cause your name to be advertised again. New property is received each year from Holders who have lost contact with the owners. This could be due to the owner moving and not providing the company with a new address or in some cases the owner has actually died. After a period of no account activity shown from the owner, the account is considered abandoned and is required to be turned over to the West Virginia State Treasury to hold as custodian for the rightful owner. The specific time frame for abandonment is determined by the type of property.

So, if you saw the latest Unclaimed Property Bulletin and your name is not listed, don’t give up hope! There is almost $210 million available for lost owners or their heirs and it is very likely you or someone you know has property just waiting to be claimed. Those wishing to search for their property can click on the link to our website and do a free search.  The website lists all property having a value of $25 or more and any tangible items. If property is found in your name it may be claimed through our website or you may file a paper claim. Good luck and happy hunting!

 

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West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498

Copyright 2017 by West Virginia State Treasurer's Office