• 70°

Unclaimed Property event returns thousands of dollars to locals

Area residents got their chance at unclaimed property on Tuesday as the State Treasury of Mississippi hosted an unclaimed property event at the Oxford Conference Center.

These events provide Mississippians a chance to locate any unclaimed money or stocks that have been abandoned for five years or more.

“This is an exciting program,” Tony Geiger, the Director of Unclaimed Property for Mississippi, said. “The State Legislature began this for Mississippi back in the 1980s, but all 50 states have unclaimed property, and we encourage everyone to check the database from any state you’ve lived in. There are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds that could be a game changer for the economy, especially in Mississippi.”

During Tuesday’s event, 107 residents of Lafayette County and the surrounding area attended to locate funds.

Several left with thousands of dollars in claims, including one man with a payday of over $9,000, Geiger said.

“It was a very successful visit,” said Susan Wells, an Oxford resident who attended the event. “I came for some unclaimed property of my deceased husband.”

Wells filed for over $100 in property in a process that took about 45 minutes, she said.

The total amount claimed during the event won’t be determined for another four to six weeks, as any claims filed must be verified by the treasury office before checks can be issued.

“This is the first event we’ve done here in Oxford and it was a huge success,” Geiger said.

Geiger hopes that the event will prompt others to share their success with friends and family, while encouraging them also to check the database for their own unclaimed property.

“The beauty of the program is the way it grows. People tell their friends, they post it on social media. An example (from today) is a lady who walked out into the foyer with tears in her eyes. She said ‘I just want to tell you, I found $1800,’” Geiger said.

The woman, Geiger said, was dealing with some setbacks due to health issues and told him that the money would make a difference in her life.

“We hear those types of stories every day,” Geiger said. “And that lady with the $1800 will tell everyone she knows in Lafayette County and all those people will learn about the program.”

For individuals who missed the event, claims for any unclaimed property can be filed via mail. Those who wish to search for property in Mississippi should visit the State Treasurer’s website at http://treasurerlynnfitch.ms.gov/UnclaimedProperty/Pages/default.aspx.