June 29, 2006

Treasurer Encourages Readers To Check Local Papers For Unclaimed Property

JEFFERSON CITY – State Treasurer Sarah Steelman is encouraging Missourians to check their local papers for lists of unclaimed property owners that will be published in coming weeks as part of an effort to return millions in unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

“This money belongs to the hard-working people of Missouri and we want to return their money to them,” Steelman said. “We’re asking citizens to check local papers for their names, the names of family members and of friends to help our efforts to return this money back to the citizens it truly belongs to.”

As Treasurer, Steelman oversees the state’s Division of Unclaimed Property, the state division that receives money from abandoned bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, insurance policies, government checks and stock holdings that belongs to people who cannot be located.

During the last fiscal year, the Division of Unclaimed Property in the Treasurer’s Office, returned more than $20 million to citizens, and is on target to return an additional $20 million to citizens this year.

“We work year-round to locate and return unclaimed property to the rightful owners,” Steelman said. “The publication of names in local papers is an important way in which we find owners or their heirs so that this property can be returned.”

The lists of names will be published by county, and will contain listings of property and owners whose last known address was in that county.

The published lists will contain the more than 70,000 names of owners of property sent to the state in the last six months. A full listing of all unclaimed property held by the state can be accessed at www.showmemoney.com.

“Ownership of this money never reverts to the state, and is held in the name of the original owner until that owner can be located,” Steelman said. “This money belongs to citizens, and we’ll return it just as soon as we can verify the claim – whether it’s a month or 75 years after the property is sent to us.”

Citizens can also write to Treasurer Sarah Steelman’s Division of Unclaimed Property Division at P.O. Box 1004, Jefferson City, MO, 65102, and staff will check to see if property is being held in an account under their name.

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