COLUMBUS, Ohio – Before calendars flip to February this Thursday, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds encourages Ohioans to celebrate National Unclaimed Property Day, which takes place this Thursday, Feb. 1. On this day, individuals across the country are urged to search for and reclaim any lost or forgotten money that may be in their name. The day also marks the beginning of Unclaimed Funds Month.
Approximately one in seven people in the United States currently have unclaimed funds. In Ohio, the Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds is currently safeguarding more than $4 billion in unclaimed funds.
Ohioans can identify and claim any missing money by taking three easy steps: 1, search for money at unclaimedfunds.ohio.gov; 2, gather the required supporting documents; and 3, send the information to the division either online or by mail.
“Many unclaimed funds belong to individuals who are over the age of 50, as well as some individuals who have passed away,” Superintendent Akil Hardy said. “To ensure these funds get to the appropriate individuals, it’s important that Ohioans, in addition to searching their own names, take a moment to search the names of any parents, grandparents, or other older loved ones. It’s possible there could be a substantial amount of funds waiting for them.”
With the arrival of February, many Ohioans are likely making travel arrangements for spring break or summer vacation. A simple search for unclaimed funds now could result in them having some extra money when that time arrives.
Last year, Ohioans searched for unclaimed funds more than 4.3 million times and filed for more than 43,000 claims. This resulted in more than $139 million in lost or forgotten money being returned to its rightful owners.
Unclaimed funds are lost or forgotten money that businesses and banks report to the Division of Unclaimed Funds after accounts become inactive, typically 3-5 years. The money comes from inactive checking and savings accounts, refund/credit balances, uncashed cashier’s checks, stocks and bonds, forgotten utility deposits, and/or last paychecks.
Ohioans are able to check anytime if they have unclaimed funds online or by calling 614-466-4433.