West Virginians are creatures of both the old and new, as evidenced in April by the way they filed for $1.4 million in unclaimed property.
Electronic claims are the favorite way to file for lost assets, both in dollar amounts and number of claims paid. But good ‘ol paper submissions are in the mix.
“I want to congratulate our unclaimed property people for turning in such an outstanding month,” the Treasurer said. “Our e-claim process continues to gain steam but we see some state residents prefer to submit paper. Either is fine. Just keep looking. You have may have lost assets coming to you.”
The Treasurer’s Office has now paid out $10.2 million for fiscal 2017, with two months left. The office returned $13.9 million last fiscal year.
Anyone searching for unclaimed property should go to www.wvtreasury.com, as well as checking out the twice-a-year newspaper inserts the Treasurer’s Office produces. Call 1-800-642-8687 for phone help.
The website offers users two choices – scan identifying documents directly into the system and file electronically; or verify assets online, print a form off and mail it in with document copies. It turns out Mountain State residents did both in April.
E-claims accounted for $460,000, or 32 percent of claims by dollar amount. Right behind in that category were “owner claims” at $366,000 or 25 percent of dollar total. The latter claims fit the hybrid category of electronic/paper.
A whopping 60 percent of the number of claims – not the dollar amount -- came via e-claim cyberspace, as opposed to the hybrid category at 19 percent. Newspaper ads accounted for 12 percent of the total claim number.
E-claims are tailored to single owners easily able to scan a couple of identifying documents into the system. While a popular way to claim lost assets, these claims are also typically lower in dollar amount. E-claims are not designed for complicated estates or cases in which assets are divided.
Unclaimed property is any asset by which a rightful owner has become separated. Examples include abandoned safe deposit boxes, forgotten utility deposits and dormant stock shares.