The Virginia Department of the Treasury has launched a new program and web-based search to help Virginians access unclaimed money owed to them by businesses.
“One in four Virginians has unclaimed property so we encourage all Virginians to search our free website for their unclaimed property,” Virginia Treasurer David Richardson said in a press release. “There is no deadline, and no fees will be charged to claim your property.”
The release warns Virginians against using fee-based services to recover unclaimed property, advising them to work only with the Department of the Treasury. To search the database or to begin the claims process, visit vamoneysearch.gov.
Under Virginia law, businesses must turn over unclaimed property to the commonwealth, which holds the property until the owner files a claim. Unclaimed property can include investments, bank accounts, wages, un-cashed checks, insurance policy payouts, contents of safe deposit boxes, and money owed by government agencies.
The Virginia treasury says if property doesn’t have any activity for three years in most cases, and the holder can’t locate the property owner, then the property is abandoned and must be reported to the Unclaimed Property Division.
“To prevent your accounts from becoming unclaimed or abandoned, keep accounts active and make sure that you make a deposit or withdrawal, update your contact information, or contact your financial institution at least every three years,” the site advises.
“Our mission is to protect the property of our citizens and return these assets to the rightful owner,” Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings said. “This public service comes at no cost to citizens and returns millions each year to our citizens.”
For the new program, Virginia is using KAPS software from Kelmar, a company that specializes in property recovery software used by most U.S. states.
“The Commonwealth’s new website and system streamline the claims process which allows us to expedite the return of unclaimed funds to the rightful owners,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a release.
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