Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH – It’s your money, and State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell is eager to put it back in the hands and wallets of its rightful owners.

A new Department of State Treasurer (DST) initiative will dramatically boost the Unclaimed Property Division’s (UPD) ability to speed up the return of millions of dollars in coming months through a free, streamlined process.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is returning money to North Carolinians, especially during these economically challenging times of job, food, health and education insecurity,” Folwell said. “Many thanks to the North Carolina General Assembly for their help in passing House Bill 1023. Because of their support, we can now waive paperwork requirements for tens of thousands of claims valued at $250 or less.”

UPD expects to pay 25,000 expedited claims worth $1.4 million in six months, starting in October, with a long-term goal of paying at least 50,000 claims worth about $2.8 million every year thereafter.

Property owners do not need to take any action to receive their money — there are no claim forms to fill out, no searching for papers showing proof of ownership, no signature pages to complete.

UPD will proactively research records and identify qualifying claims of $250 or less. Notification letters will be mailed to claimants, and a check will be issued in six to eight weeks. North Carolina is one of the few states in the country that offers this service.

By law, DST safeguards nearly $800 million in money, uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, stocks, bonds, other abandoned funds and personal property. Many of those are worth more than $250.

“There are more items waiting to be claimed than there are residents of North Carolina, so the chances that there is unclaimed property with your name on it are very good,” Folwell said. “We’re in the check-delivery business, so I encourage you to go to the NCCash.com website and do a search for your name, your wife’s maiden name, and your friends’ and relatives’ names. You may be surprised to find you have money just waiting to be claimed.”

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