Missouri’s treasurer trying to connect unemployed with unclaimed property
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick says more than $1 billion in unclaimed property is sitting in the state, waiting for its rightful owners to claim it.
Unclaimed property often goes to auction, after sitting unclaimed in a safe deposit box for five or more years.
“The vast majority of it is going to be financial assets," Fitzpatrick said Friday. “It’ll be money they can actually get returned to them.”
Because so much property goes unclaimed every year, and the economic hardships many have faced during this pandemic, Fitzpatrick got with the State Department of Labor to compare the unclaimed property list, with the lists of people who have filed for unemployment this year.
“The coronavirus has taken a toll on the economy. There’s been record numbers of people filing unemployment claims. It’s obviously not a thing we want to happen, but one of the silver linings of that is it gives us an opportunity to contact them to get them money we owe them anyway that they can get," Fitzpatrick said.
Last week, they started to email some of the more than 88,000 Missourians who had both filed for unemployment in 2020 and had unclaimed property in their name. The state will soon be sending postcards in the mail to people who don’t have an email address on file.
So far, Fitzpatrick says the state has returned more than $186,000 in unclaimed property to 2,300 Missourians with this new collaborative effort.
“This collaboration not only serves our citizens during a time of great need, but also underscores the essence of good public service and what government should be doing," said Anna Hui, Director of the Missouri Department of Labor.
Missourians can check to see if they have unclaimed property waiting in the state by clicking here.
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