Holed up in the Missouri state treasurer's office is nearly $700 million in unclaimed property, and it could be yours.
Most people have a pretty good idea of just how much money they have in the bank. But new statistics out Thursday show one in 10 Missourians has unclaimed property out there. It could be an unclaimed bank account, an overpaid utility bill or a lot more, and the state treasurer wants each person to find it.
Life insurance policies, un-cashed checks or even family heirlooms could all be waiting for you at the Missouri treasurer's office, each with a personal story.
"When I came into office, we found we had veterans' medals that have been auctioned off to the highest bidder previously at auctions. We immediately stopped that process, began partnering with veterans organizations and we were able to return these medals back to the heirs," said Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel.
Right now the treasurer's office has $700 million worth of unclaimed property. Much of that is left over after someone passes away, leaving the treasurer to try to track down heirs.
Zweifel's reunited families with claims as large as $6.1 million - that was last fall in Kansas City - down to an average of $300.
"$300 is a heating or cooling bill, it's school supplies for your kids, school clothes, you name it, so that really makes an impact," Zweifel said.
So now the treasurer is partnering with AARP to get the word out about how to track down that lost property.
"As you're taking care of an older relative, or a neighbor, or somebody, there are resources out there that are yours to claim that can help," said AARP Missouri State Director Craig Eichelman.
The process for claiming any missing property is pretty simple. People just go to showmemoney.com and enter their name to see if they have any missing cash out there waiting for them.
Missouri has returned $126 million since January 2009.
Sidney McCarther knows that feeling well. He claimed an old paycheck from another state.
"I thought I had all my checks, paid taxes on them and the whole bit and, all of a sudden, I must have left one because they sent it to me, and I had me a vacation," McCarther said.
Aside from visiting showmemoney.com, people can also call the Missouri treasurer's office or AARP.
They'll never charge people to return the property. A person just need to show some ID and proof of relationship if you're an heir. The organizations do suggest people share their financial information with some close family to avoid a similar problem down the road.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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