A series of May workshops held by State Treasurer John Perdue’s office proved beneficial to those charged with turning over others’ misplaced assets.
The Uniform Unclaimed Property Act asks holders of unclaimed property to transfer those financial assets to respective state treasuries, in order that a search for rightful owners may begin. Examples are a forgotten utility deposit or abandoned safe deposit box contents.
Holders such as banks, health care facilities and other businesses are sometimes unsure about the proper procedures for returning unclaimed property, hence the Treasury’s periodic workshops.
The five different dates, all in Charleston, attracted 90 participants spanning several different industries. Karen Hodges, a staff accountant at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, said she appreciated the training.
“It flowed very well and it was not boring,” she said. “It was also very pertinent to what we do. The day I was there people were from all sorts of different businesses, including a utility company. They [Unclaimed Property staff] were very prepared in knowing who was going to be in each meeting.”
Hodges learned that if the hospital issued a check not cashed to a patient in Ohio, then she should hand over the value to Ohio’s unclaimed property program in hopes it might be returned.
“It was just a really good overall training,” Hodges said. “The ladies who spoke definitely knew what they were doing. They were able to answer everyone’s questions.” Deputy Treasurer for Unclaimed Property Carolyn Atkinson said attendees came from as far away as Morgantown, the Northern Panhandle and Hampshire County.
Atkinson added that a holder webinar – an online seminar available to those who log in – is in the works. A date will be announced soon.
Treasurer Perdue’s unclaimed property program, meanwhile, has enjoyed another solid year in returning assets. April saw it return $1.4 million, which translates to a forecast of about $12 million or so by the end of the fiscal year in June.
The division set $1 million a month as a fiscal year goal. The Treasury returned $9 million in fiscal 2015 and $13.9 million in 2016.
“We’re happy, but not satisfied with those numbers,” Treasurer Perdue said. “We’ll keep fighting to reunite residents with their assets. We really enjoy doing that.”