State treasurer wants you to receive missing money

MONTPELIER — The Vermont State Treasurer’s Office paid Vermonters a record number of unclaimed financial property last year. Treasurer Beth Pearce wants Vermonters to check today to see if any of the remaining $80 million waiting to be claimed belongs to them. “The Treasurer’s Office works proactively to connect Vermonters with their missing money and valuables,” said Treasurer Beth Pearce. “In recent years, we initiated new efforts to locate property and connect rightful heirs with their assets. Last year we paid a record 15,491 individual claims to Vermonters totaling $5.178 million. We want to make sure every Vermonter is aware that they may be missing money and that the Treasurer’s Office offers a free service to help claim your cash.”
Each year, the Treasurer’s Office receives property that is remitted to the State for safekeeping while staff works to return property to its rightful owner. Last year $10.4 million of new property was received, increasing the total amount on hand to $80 million.
“Unclaimed property” describes assets like uncashed checks, lost valuables, forgotten security deposits, misplaced insurance policies, investments or estates. The contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes are also collected and held in the Treasurer’s Office unclaimed property vault. There are 420,000 individual properties waiting to be claimed. Asset values range from less than a dollar to $684,098.
With over $80 million waiting to be claimed, Treasurer Pearce urges Vermonters to be aware of for-profit enterprises that claim they will locate and recover lost property for a fee. There are heir-finder services that sometimes contact possible owners and offer to locate property, from Vermont and other states, for a fee. Treasurer Pearce encourages all Vermonters to check the State’s unclaimed property database, which is free, before accepting services from other entities.
The Treasurer’s Office’s unclaimed property program is a consumer protection initiative to benefit all citizens. No commissions or fees are charged through this free service. Vermonters can easily search the State unclaimed property database by visiting MissingMoney.Vermont.gov or by calling 1-800-642-3191.

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