State Treasurer John Perdue’s Unclaimed Property Division had returned $6.4 million by the end of November, a fiscal year rate that would put the office on track to return approximately $15.5 million.
The 2018 fiscal year ends June 30. So far, the office has returned an average of $1.3 million a month to claimants, exceeding the $1 million-a-month mark the office sets as a goal each year. In fiscal 2017 and 2016, Perdue’s office returned $12.4 and $13.8 million, respectively.
A high water mark for claims occurred in fiscal 2009, when the Unclaimed Property Division returned $15.4 million. The current projection would just eclipse that mark.
“No one has a crystal ball, but we are certainly on pace to break that standard,” Perdue said. “I obviously hope we do. In this Christmas season, I urge everyone to go to www.wvtreasury.com and see if your name is there. You could be giving yourself a gift.”
The Treasury issued two large unclaimed property checks in November, $290,000 to a 90-year-old former West Virginian and $70,000 to Jackie Godwin of Parsons in Tucker County. Godwin is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy left to her by a late husband.
The Treasurer has fought to require insurance companies to either pay out benefits once the insured is deceased or turn over the assets to his office. An insurance company turned Godwin’s assets over to the Treasury, allowing the Unclaimed Property Division to find her via a published newspaper insert of rightful owners.
“We’ll continue that outreach and to stress how important it is for companies to turn over those assets,” said Perdue, citing judicial and legislative decisions favoring his position. “This will be a priority of ours as we move into the next calendar year and finish the second half of the fiscal year.”