Treasury Slated to Send Nearly $4.6 Million to Roughly 8,800 Recipients This Fall
State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced a new, automated system for sending unclaimed property to its rightful owners has officially launched and plans to send nearly $4.6 million in checks to verified recipients – without the need for those individuals to file paperwork with his Office.
The new program, titled “West Virginia Cash Now,” has officially launched online at WVCashNow.com.
“We’re excited to announce this new process for automatically returning unclaimed money to its rightful owners, bypassing the need to file paperwork with our Office to claim it,” Treasurer Moore said. “This is one of the many ways we’ve worked to modernize and improve the State Treasurer’s Office to help it better serve the people of our state.”
West Virginia Cash Now is a program borne out of House Bill 4511, an unclaimed property modernization bill that Treasurer Moore proposed to lawmakers earlier this year. Among its many provisions, the bill created a more automated approach to claims processing which now allows many West Virginians to be reunited with their missing money automatically – no paperwork required.
Under this new West Virginia Cash Now program, the Office’s Unclaimed Property Division will be able to quickly issue checks to residents who already have addresses and contact information that are readily verifiable in legal databases.
Treasurer Moore said his Unclaimed Property Division has more than 3 million listings valued at more than $300 million. The Cash Now program will apply to one of the most common types of claims: Individual property owners with claim amounts ranging from $100 to less than $5,000.
The Unclaimed Property Division this week began mailing letters to individuals who can expect to receive checks this September through the program.
Treasurer Moore emphasized that once you receive the letter, you simply have to wait for your check to be mailed in the fall – you do not have to file a claim with the State Treasurer’s Office.
In addition to verifying the address of the individual, Treasurer Moore said the letters will serve to inform people this program is legitimate and not a scam.
“One of the biggest challenges we have with the Unclaimed Property Program is that people believe it’s too good to be true,” Treasurer Moore said. “They don’t realize it’s our duty under state law to reconnect them with money they either lost track of in old or forgotten accounts or didn’t realize they had available because they didn’t receive a check or payment they were owed.
“If you get one of these West Virginia Cash Now letters or checks, I want you to know: This is real – it is not a scam,” Treasurer Moore said. “This money is yours and you have the absolute right to cash that check and spend or save it as you see fit.”
The initial round of Cash Now letters will be sent to approximately 8,800 individuals, representing $4,583,092 worth of unclaimed property claims.
After sending out this initial round of checks this fall, the State Treasurer’s Office will conduct an annual database data match once a year moving forward to conduct annual distributions in the future.
More information about the West Virginia Cash Now program is available at WVCashNow.com.
While the Cash Now program will create a new automated process for certain claims, it does not apply to all claims. Businesses, government entities, estate claims and securities are not covered by the program because additional documentation is required to verify the owner. Individuals with claims of $5,000 or more will also still have to file paperwork with the Office to receive their claim.
Since the new program will not cover all claim types, Treasurer Moore emphasized that individuals should still regularly visit www.wvtreasury.com and click on the “Search” button to see if the Office is holding any assets in their name.
What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property can include financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for one year or longer. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. (While the title includes the word “property,” it does not however include real estate.)
West Virginia’s unclaimed property laws protect the public by ensuring money and property owed to them is returned to them, rather than remaining permanently with financial institutions, business associations, governments and other entities. The Treasurer seeks to reunite the unclaimed property, including uncashed paychecks, stocks, or safe deposit box contents, with its owner.
Nationwide, nearly 33 million people in the United States – one in every 10 – are estimated to have unclaimed property available for them to claim.
How Can I Find Unclaimed Property in My Name?
West Virginians searching for lost financial assets can go to www.wvtreasury.com, then click on the large Unclaimed Property “Search” button to the right of the page under the heading, “Are We Holding Your Money?” In addition to finding property, the www.wvtreasury.com website will also help you track a claim.
A demonstration of how to use the Unclaimed Property search site is available on the Treasury’s YouTube page, at: https://youtu.be/K09yQ7YNKlE.
To search for lost financial assets outside West Virginia, visit www.FindMyFunds.com or www.MissingMoney.com.