The Division of Unclaimed Funds is reuniting Ohioans with their lost treasure. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Division paid 58,953 claims, a 27.5% increase over the prior fiscal year.
The Division returned $61.1 million in FY 2012, a .3% increase over the prior fiscal year. The average paid claim was $1,037.
“Through aggressive outreach, the Division of Unclaimed Funds is working to reunite even more Ohioans with their hard-earned money,” said David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. “These funds boost our economy as Ohioans use the funds to buy a tank of gas, pay off some bills, make needed home repairs, enjoy a vacation or expand a business.”
Unclaimed funds consist of monies or the right to monies that have been dormant or forgotten. These funds are reported to the State of Ohio for safekeeping until the rightful owners can be found. Some common examples include: dormant checking and savings accounts, forgotten rent and utility deposits, uncashed checks, undelivered stock certificates, and uncashed insurance policies.
The Division marked its 30th anniversary in January and encouraged Ohioans to step forward and claim their unclaimed treasure. Since the Division was created in January 1982 through June 30, 2012, it has paid more than 857,000 claims worth $862 million.
In FY 2012, the Division expanded its outreach focus to Ohio’s schools as part of Governor John R. Kasich request to every department in his administration to find ways to help local governments without further burdening taxpayers. During the fiscal year, the Division returned approximately $111,000 to 69 schools.
The Division’s Online Treasure Hunt at www.unclaimedfundstreasurehunt.ohio.gov continues to be a popular means for Ohioans to search for unclaimed funds and to initiate the claims process. Approximately 84% of all claims initiated in FY 2012 were through the search function on the Division’s website.
The Division added a new customer service feature to its website this year that allows claimants to check on their claim’s status while it is being reviewed.