- State of Indiana trying to return millions to residents, begins IndianaUnclaimed.com
Nearly $300 million in financial assets is just waiting to be claimed by those who either forgot or might have never realized money was coming their way.
"There are more than 117,500 properties equaling more than $17.5 million (1998-2004) with last known addresses from Vigo County and its eight surrounding counties. Nearly 90 percent of those assets are unclaimed investment earnings, insurance proceeds and benefits, wages, and savings and checking accounts," Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said.
Carter started a Web site,
to help Indiana residents get their property and money.
The unclaimed properties include assets such as safe deposit box contents, uncashed checks and stock certificates. Real estate is not included.
"Sometimes, people will move, not realizing they have a final paycheck coming," Carter said at The Brazil Times office Tuesday afternoon.
When people lose track of their money for whatever reason it is turned over to the state, and investment income can be used by the state -- it does not stay with the amount turned over.
However, much of the property is held by private entities, such as businesseses, for five years before it is turned over to the state. In that time, the value may appreciate, Carter said.
"We're launching this campaign both in the Terre Haute region and northeastern Indiana this week," Carter said from the Public Board of Works room at Terre Haute City Hall on Tuesday.
The campaign will include advertising of the indianaunclaimed.com Web site and legal advertising in The Brazil Times and other newspapers.
However, the newspaper listings will only include recent assets turned over to the state. To search the entire database of unclaimed assets going back years, residents need to use the indianaunclaimed Web site.
"Many of the properties are of relatively small value," Carter said.
Eighty percent of the unclaimed funds are valued at $100 or less.
Last year the Unclaimed Property Division returned more than $21 million. People need to take an interest in this because the amount of unclaimed assets increases each year even though "the value being returned to people is increasing every year," he said.
Carter's Press Secretary Staci Schneider also was in attendance Tuesday, add-ing that cities and businesses can also visit the Web site to see if they have any unclaimed properties.
Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke attended Carter's announcement Tuesday.
Frank Phillips contributed to this report.