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RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program returned a record $79 million in property to owners during the 2018 fiscal year, $16.6 million more than the previous highest return in 2015. Over 139,000 asset accounts were paid out during the 2018 fiscal year, representing a 77% increase over the previous fiscal year. Any citizen who has had a Virginia address is encouraged to check the free search site for unclaimed property in their name.
“The primary mission of this important consumer protection law is to protect citizens’ property rights by returning property to the rightful owners,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud that our efforts on behalf of Virginia citizens have resulted in the largest amount the department has returned to beneficiaries in its history.”
Over $760 million has been paid out to Virginians since this program started in 1961. Unclaimed property can be generated in nearly every business or financial transaction with any type of organization. This can include utility deposits, customer refunds, unpaid wages, money from insurance policies, securities and investments, bank accounts, and tangible property. Property becomes unclaimed when the holder company has not had contact with the owner of the property for a specified period of time.
Virginians can easily search the State unclaimed property database by visiting www.vaMoneySearch.org. It is also important for consumers to be aware of unauthorized or unsolicited offers and make sure you are working with an authorized state representative.
“I encourage every Virginia citizen to check for any unclaimed property at least once a year. Claim forms can be downloaded immediately and submitted to the Treasury,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne.
“The owners or their legitimate heirs can claim the funds at any time; there is no statute of limitations. We proactively attempt to locate owners through newspaper advertising, a free online search, and targeted outreach efforts,” said Virginia Treasurer Manju Ganeriwala.
The Office of the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Program is a consumer protection initiative to benefit all citizens. No commissions or fees are charged through this free service.
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