July 7, 2011
$36 Million and Climbing in Unclaimed Property Returned by State
JEFFERSON CITY - In fiscal year 2011, Missourians claimed a record $36 million in Unclaimed Property from State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) - a 4 percent increase over the previous year's record. At the same time the amount of accounts returned climbed 30 percent to 120,000 - the first time more than 100,000 claims have ever been returned in a single fiscal year.
With the announcement, Treasurer Zweifel has now returned 27 percent, or $83 million, of all Unclaimed Property ever returned. Unclaimed Property started being returned in 1985.
"When you cut red tape, cut bureaucracy and open up to citizens, the results are clear - increase performance by 30 percent in just one year," Treasurer Zweifel said. "Technological innovations, streamlined processes and proactive outreach make it possible to return $36 million from 120,000 accounts. In fact, just yesterday I approved another $100,000 return to an individual in the St. Louis area."
Treasurer Zweifel has launched three new tools to return Unclaimed Property - a 100 percent paperless claims process; an email notification system that was the fifth created in the nation; and a prototype kiosk in Columbia, Mo., that allows for the search and return of assets.
"We perform millions of searches a year for Unclaimed Property and we are able to do that because Missourians know this is legitimate, it is user friendly and I never charge for their returns," Treasurer Zweifel said. "My team knows the ultimate goal is to return all of the property I hold. It takes work each and every day, and these records are a sure sign of progress."
The department also uses area newspapers to advertise unclaimed property. More than 20 Scotland County residents have been identified as prospective owners of unclaimed assets being held by the state. (See the ad inside this issue on Page 5).
Anyone can search for Unclaimed Property any time at www.ShowMeMoney.com.