The State Treasurer is at the state fair doling out unclaimed money to Wisconsin residents.
Deputy Treasurer Scott Feldt says the unclaimed property doesn’t belong to the government; it belongs to the people. His office continues to return that money to its rightful owners. “And we’ve been really successful in doing that. We’ve returned nearly $20 million so far this year in 2013.” That’s on pace to match last year’s total amount. “In 2012 we returned over $35 million.”
There is more than $400 million in unclaimed assets held by the State Treasury. The amount of lost money being returned varies, Feldt says, anything from five bucks to $1,300 or even $6,000. “The largest amount that the state treasurer has ever given out was a little less than two years ago. It was a couple in Wauwatosa, for over $850,000.”
The money comes from forgotten paychecks, insurance premium overpayments, utility deposits, forgotten bank accounts and stocks, abandoned safe deposit boxes and many other types of assets that have been lost, forgotten, or unknown.
The Treasurer is attending fairs throughout Wisconsin — currently at the state fair. “I would say we’re averaging well over 50 people an hour, so that’s like a person a minute.”
And, Feldt says, the office is also visiting libraries throughout the state.
The Unclaimed Property Program has recently been transferred from the Office of the Treasurer to the Department of Revenue, but Feldt says his office will continue to get the word out. “As for the actual processing of the claims and cutting of the checks, that would be done through the Department of Revenue.”
You can search for missing money 24/7 online at www.wismissingmoney.com or call 855-375-CASH (2274)
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:44