Don’t forget to cash those dividend checks!

Financial EducationUnclaimed Property
Nov 17 2015

By Abigail Campbell—Unclaimed Property


Did you know that stock and mutual funds can also be unclaimed property?  Many people think that the Unclaimed Property division only holds uncashed checks, but stocks and other security related assets can also be reported as unclaimed.  Last year alone, the Treasurer’s office received $663,222.87 in uncashed dividend checks and 504,067 shares of unclaimed stock.  These properties make up a large portion of the unclaimed monies we receive each year.


But how does stock end up as Unclaimed Property?  Having a stock certificate in your possession is not all you need to do.  When you go to cash it in, you could find out it has been turned over as unclaimed.  Always remember when moving to call and update the stock transfer agent of your new address.  Returned mail can trigger the stock to be turned over as unclaimed.  Also cash those dividend checks!  Cashing a dividend check lets the stock agent know that your account is active, and that you aren’t “missing in action.”  So even if that dividend check is one penny, take that thing to the bank.  The tellers might have a good laugh, but it will ensure your stock is kept in active status.


Of course if you find your stock has been turned over as unclaimed property, the cash value will be waiting for you in our office, along with those dividends.  Our office liquidates stocks before they are claimed in order to make the process of claiming your money easier, quicker, and more efficient.  We also do not pass the fees associated with selling the stock on to the owner, allowing for more money to get back into your pocket.


If you think your stock has been turned over to our office as unclaimed property, you can check by looking your name up on our website or calling our office at 1-800-642-8687.  Claiming is easy and only requires a few forms and proof of ID.  Most people receive their check within 30 – 60 days after submitting their claim.


Just remember – When it comes to stock, always update your address and cash those dividend checks!  It’s a foolproof way to ensure you don’t become one of the lost.

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The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

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

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