State Treasurer to hold Unclaimed Property event for city, county

Published 10:30 am Monday, July 9, 2018

The City of Oxford and Lafayette County, along with State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, will host an unclaimed property event on Tuesday, July 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Oxford Conference Center.

According to a statement from the State Treasurer’s office, the event will be an opportunity for local residents to search the state’s unclaimed property listings and claim funds the state could possibly be holding for them. Fitch has described unclaimed property events as a “great economic stimulus program” for local businesses and individuals.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill agreed, citing the ways similar events have helped other communities.

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“In a discussion with State Treasurer Lynn Fitch months ago, she shared with me her goal of getting unclaimed properties back into the hands of rightful owners,” Tannehill said. “These events have been successful in other communities, so we decided to host one in Oxford in hopes of helping citizens access their money.”

Unclaimed assets may include money, cash, checks or stocks that have been abandoned and for which there has been no contact for a period of five years. Unclaimed property does not include tangible items, like farm equipment, jewelry or land.

The treasurer’s list shows more than $2 million in unclaimed property for Lafayette County residents and businesses, and there are two methods which individuals can use to search for their unclaimed property. The first method involves accessing the list on the city of Oxford’s website or visiting the State Treasurer’s website. From there, individuals can access the unclaimed property claim form as well.

According to a statement from the State Treasurer’s office, it is important to follow instructions listed on the form exactly. Searching for one’s name in a variety of ways is also encouraged. For example, a man named John Smith could search for John Smith, Smith, John or Jane Michelle Smith.

Monetary amounts on the Lafayette County unclaimed property list range from as little as $1.50 to nearly $10,000. Unclaimed property specialists from the State Treasurer’s office will be present at the event to search the State’s unclaimed property list, complete claim forms and notarize paperwork. However, there will be no monies distributed at the event.

Those who plan to attend the event and expedite their claims should bring the following documentation: photo ID, a social security card, proof of address and proof of name change if applicable. If the owner is deceased, claimants should bring a death certificate, will, obituary or affidavit of death as credible documentation.

The unclaimed property event is part of the administration of the Unclaimed Property Act, which requires that “holders” such as banks, credit unions, insurance companies, retail stores, utility companies and business associations turn over to the office of the State Treasurer any assets such as money, cash, checks or stocks that have been abandoned for which there has been no contact for a period of five years. The Unclaimed Property Division is charged with trying to locate the rightful owners of such assets. Since Fitch took office in 2012, she has distributed $82 million in unclaimed property, which is more represents more than 54 percent of all the funds distributed through the state’s unclaimed property program since it began in 1982.

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