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Fiscal 2013 big so far for unclaimed property receipts 

CHARLESTON – State Treasurer John Perdue’s unclaimed property division has received $1 million more in unclaimed property the first half of fiscal year 2013 than it did during the same time period of fiscal 2012.

From July to December of fiscal 2012-2013, the division had received $13.1 million in unclaimed property, as opposed to $12 million in fiscal 2011-2012. Unclaimed property “holders,” or those in possession of property when it is abandoned, accounted for the bulk at $10 million.

“Stale-dated” checks are state-issued checks which have expired. Those accounted for $2.5 million.

A relatively new boost to the receipts is $54,830 in online auction sales. The Treasurer’s Office began conducting online auctions in 2012, putting collectable items up for bid, such as coins, jewelry and baseball cards. Any proceeds from sales are kept in the owner’s account as attempts are made to find the person.

“Obviously we can’t return assets unless holders report them to us, as required by state law,” Treasurer Perdue said. “Our staff has been working hard, but we don’t want to hesitate in giving credit to the holders following the law by reporting property which does not belong to them.”

An example of an unclaimed property holder is a bank holding the contents of an abandoned safe deposit box or an insurance company in possession of an expired policy.

Unclaimed property is any asset from which an individual has become separated. Common examples include forgotten utility deposits, a final paycheck from an employer or unredeemed stock dividends.