State seeking to connect items, money with rightful owners

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Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 3:45 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you had money or valuables, sitting and waiting for you to pick it up, would you claim it? The Alabama State Treasurer’s office is sending out notices that you may have unclaimed property to collect.

“We’ve got over a billion dollars, that represents 8.4 million property records that are available to be claimed,” said Chad Wright, director of the Unclaimed Property Division at the State Treasurer’s office.

Wright oversees the vault that’s filled with money and items that all belong to somebody. He says most of the unclaimed property is from companies, or banks, who lost touch and couldn’t find the owner.

“Either they change an address, they move, unfortunately, they might pass away, for whatever reason, once that company or financial institution hospital loses contact with the person whose money it is or whose item that it is,” Wright explained. “They make efforts to try to locate that person, if they can’t, after a period of time, depending on what type of asset it is. It’s different timeframes. But it ultimately gets turned over to us.”

Cassandra Alford recently discovered this happened to her.

“It was from an insurance company, a home insurance company that I had on a home that I previously lived in,” Alford said of the property.

The insurance company lost touch and still owed Alford money.

“It was like, right at $4,000,” Alford added.” So it was like $3,995 or something like that.”

But, Wright said it’s not all money hiding away in the vault.

“A lot of times, we’ll have things that are, you know, they may have handwritten notes where things have been passed down from generation to generation to generation. And, you know, like I say, a lot of jewelry, a lot of coins, guns, a lot of paper, a lot of pictures,” Wright said. “So, you know, we never know, you know, what we’re going to open and what we’re going to find, once we go in those boxes.”

You can check for unclaimed property in your name on this website.

While you’re there, you may want to type in family members’ names as well, especially if you’ve had loved ones who passed away. Wright said that’s where a lot of the items in the vault originate.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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