CHARLESTON — State Treasurer Riley Moore encouraged West Virginians to visit www.wvtreasury.com Monday and search its unclaimed property database as part of a nationwide awareness effort.
The National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators launched the first National Unclaimed Property Day on Monday, Feb. 1.
Treasurer Moore said it’s important to check for unclaimed property not just on a special day, but year-round.
“This is your property, and you need to go out and claim it,” Treasurer Moore said. “Especially in these pandemic times, you need to make sure you have all the money and property that rightfully belongs to you. I encourage everyone to visit our website and look to see if you have anything available to claim.”
Nationwide, nearly 33 million people in the United States – one in every 10 – are estimated to have unclaimed property available for them to claim. This can include financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years. Despite the use of “property” in the name, real estate is not included. Common examples of unclaimed property include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards.
When the entity overseeing these types of assets cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state.
“This property is sent to my Office, and we want to do our part to make sure it gets back to its rightful owners,” Treasurer Moore said. “That’s why I encourage you to use the resources we have available to help you search for and find your stuff.”
West Virginians searching for lost financial assets can go to www.wvtreasury.com, then click on the large Unclaimed Property “Search” button to the right of the page under the heading, “Are We Holding Your Money?” In addition to finding property, the www.wvtreasury.com website will also help you track a claim.
If you find a friend of family member in the system, you can share the information with them by hitting the “share” button and entering their email address. It creates an automatic e-mail from the Treasurer’s Office to the recipient. The email includes the property ID number and instructions on how to file a claim, if the recipient appears to be the rightful owner.
To compliment National Unclaimed Property Day, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of its efforts. It will also distribute informational materials to state lawmakers.