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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Millions in unclaimed property available for claiming

Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued this news release today:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Residents in Northeast Indiana have millions of dollars that’s been forgotten -- $21,123,993.27 to be exact. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller stopped by Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne today to talk about the state’s unclaimed property program and show people how they can search and claim unclaimed property.

“In every county around the state Hoosiers have money they have forgotten about or never knew existed. It is my duty to inform Hoosiers how to find and claim it. This money belongs to someone and I’m encouraging people to search for themselves, and their family, friends and neighbors,” Zoeller said. “With more than $350 million waiting to be claimed it is my goal to make sure this money finds its way back to the rightful owners.”

Zoeller encouraged all Hoosiers to visit www.IndianaUnclaimed.com as well as download the new, free mobile application to search for unclaimed property belonging to themselves, friends, relatives or neighbors. Businesses and charities can also have unclaimed property.

Financial institutions and other holders are required annually to turn over the assets of accounts in which there has been no activity for several years, depending on the type of account. Unclaimed property includes investment earnings, insurance proceeds and benefits, wages, and money from savings and checking accounts. Less than one percent of unclaimed assets are tangible, physical items, such as those found in safe-deposit boxes. It is important to note that unclaimed property does NOT include abandoned vehicles, real estate or other such items.

In 2011, more than 54,000 new properties valued at more than $5.9 million dollars were reported and originate from the 10 county Northeast Indiana region. The money belongs to residents or former residents of the area or their heirs. The state holds these assets for 25 years after they are reported.

In total, the state’s unclaimed property database holds more than $350 million in assets. In 2011, the Attorney General’s Office returned more than 77,000 properties totaling $44.3 million in unclaimed property. Last year, nearly $3.4 million was returned to individuals with last known addresses in Northeast Indiana.

Every year, the attorney general is required to advertise the list of unclaimed property turned over to the state during the previous year. The announcements run twice in a two week period in the newspaper closest to the last known address of the property owner.

A public awareness campaign highlighting where Hoosiers can look for unclaimed property includes newspaper, radio, online and television ads. Also added to the campaign this year is a new, free mobile application that allows Hoosiers to search and begin a claim for unclaimed property free from their iPhone or Android.

The Unclaimed Property database can be searched 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at www.IndianaUnclaimed.com.

The Unclaimed Property Division’s toll-free number is 1-866-IN-CLAIM (1-866-462-5246). This is a free service of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

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