South Carolinians may be able to receive a share of around $650 million in unclaimed property managed by the state treasurer’s office, including $13 million that belongs to residents of Aiken County.
Unclaimed property can be almost any intangible property not in the possession of its owner. This includes an uncashed payroll check, insurance policy proceeds or stocks.
Property is generally considered to be unclaimed if it hasn’t had any activity within a certain period of time, generally five years, and the holder cannot locate the owner.
Companies and government agencies are required to annually report this property to the state treasurer’s office when they cannot find the lawful owner.
The state looks after the money until the owner is found. There is no deadline for claiming the money, and the service is free.
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and his staff have returned over $220 million in unclaimed property since 2011, according to the treasurer’s website. Of that, $4 million has been in Aiken County.
“Returning their money is the most fun I have,” Loftis said. “Most people think they don’t have money, but a lot of them do.”
A person can only claim money that belongs to him or her. The only exception is if the person is deceased, then the personal representative for the estate can make the claim.
To check the claims, go to the State Treasurer’s website at https://treasurer.sc.gov/ and click on the unclaimed property button in the top right corner. From there, click “Search for Unclaimed Property” and then simply input a name to see if there is any available money.
Loftis also said the program does not have an advertising budget. His office holds community events where people can check if they have any claims.