3-Million Dollars In Mississippi’s Unclaimed Property AccountBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 Feb 2012 03:17pm |
The state of Mississippi is sitting on a three million dollars account of unclaimed money that belongs to Mississippians. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the state is trying to return that money to its rightful owners.
The three million dollars is in an unclaimed property account in the state treasurer's office.
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch says the account is made up of forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, estates, escrow accounts and more.
"It comes from banks, corporations, businesses. So if there are deposits left over or checks uncashed or anything like that, they push it over to Unclaimed Property," Fitch said.
If a company cannot find who the money belongs to after five years, they are required to turn it over to the state to track down the rightful owner.
Most of the money is in small amounts but some is worth thousands of dollars.
William Sit is a landscaper in Vicksburg.
"I am just...I don't have any words, I really don't. It is going to help fund my kids education," Sit said.
He and his wife Tammy had over 100-thousand dollars in stock in a bank that they did not know about.
"When they said that we had unclaimed money we were thinking a couple hundred dollars and we were really surprised. Mainly it is going to be for our kids, their education. Our daughter is a senior so it is going to make a world of difference," Tammy Sit said.
About one in five Mississippians has some amount of money in the unclaimed property account.
Not all of the cash is for people, some of it belongs to local agencies and cities, like the city of Drew which had 50-thousand dollars in the account.
Jeffery Kilpatrick is the mayor of Drew.
"It means a lot. there are some things that we need to get done and we can be in the process of using this money to move forward. And I always tell them breaking ground toward process is one step at a time and this is a big step. We are going to do some street work and some community center work," Kilpatrick said.
The state treasurer's office has a searchable tool on its web site that Mississippians can use to see if they have claimed money waiting for them.
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