Treasurer Loftis thanks state Senate for supporting Unclaimed Property

(Columbia, SC) – Today, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis thanked the South Carolina State Senate for maintaining the ability of the Treasurer’s Office to return unclaimed funds to the citizens of our state.

“Today is a victory for the citizens of South Carolina who have unclaimed funds,” Treasurer Loftis said. “Hard working men and women deserve their money and we need the tools necessary to make that happen. In the past 10 years the Treasurer’s Office has returned nearly $80 million dollars to its rightful owners and nearly $175 million to the state’s general fund.

“We can now join other states to audit major national corporations and with new technology we have access to hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed property. The Senate’s action today allows our office the ability to participate in these audits.”

State law requires companies to hold unclaimed property for a period of time ranging from one to 15 years. After the holding period, if the rightful owner cannot be found, those funds must be remitted to the state. Typical unclaimed property consists of utility deposits, dormant bank accounts, stock accounts, life insurance policies and other financial instruments. Monies where an owner cannot be located are then moved to the state’s general fund.

In the past 10 years, $80 million has been returned to South Carolina citizens. Over that same time period, nearly $175 million has been remitted to the general fund of the state that could be used to pay for education, healthcare and law enforcement. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the program paid out $12.6 million to rightful owners and turned over another $15 million to the general fund.

“The legislation now moves on to the House and I am hopeful they will reaffirm the importance of allowing the state to have the necessary tools possible to track down unclaimed money and return it to the rightful owners,” Treasurer Loftis stated. “Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support the Treasurer’s Office’s ability to collect and return property to the rightful owners.”