NC may have free cash for you – and sure, it’s respectable

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – At a time when the pandemic is creating tough economic times, there is a way to get free money and it is legitimate. You may be owed unclaimed money.

The North Carolina State Treasury said last year the average North Carolinaian received $ 563 in unclaimed money.

For the fiscal year that ended in June, Treasurer Dale Folwell said a record number of unclaimed cash payments had been made.

He said 125,000 claims totaling over $ 70 million in payouts have been met.

The Treasury Office oversees unclaimed property, and while it can take many forms, many are cash.

The treasurer’s office was always the one that held and distributed unclaimed funds.

In the days leading up to the pandemic, a way to raise awareness of this service was by setting up a booth at the state fair to remind people can go online to see if they owe cash.

Last October, the treasurer’s office took over a new tactic that initiated a pilot program called NCcash Match, which searched computer records for people who owed $ 250 or less.

As part of this program, people received a letter in the US Mail from the Treasurer’s office telling them that a check was coming to them.

“The pilot should cut red tape and get people to their money faster,” said Folwell.

This pilot program was so successful that lawmakers decided to make it permanent and enact law that would allow the treasurer’s office to automatically send checks up to $ 5,000 to people after they searched computer records for unclaimed money .

“We take 3,000 files a week and send letters to individuals,” said Folwell. “If this letter is not returned to us within 8 weeks, we will automatically write a check, without bureaucracy or the like.”

This NCcash Match system is designed to complement people’s online searches as the treasurer’s office literally has a treasure trove of property.

“When a safe deposit box is abandoned in North Carolina, the bank sends that content to us,” Folwell said.

He said it was mostly stocks and bonds in those lockers, but his office received everything from baby teeth to military medals that people kept and forgot.

Funds can go unclaimed for a variety of reasons, including failing to get a final paycheck, rent or security deposit for incidental expenses owed to you, or property that you put in a bank vault and simply lost track of.

Although the treasurer’s office returned more than $ 70 million worth of cash and property to rightful owners last fiscal year, Folwell expects that number to double over the next year.