Auditor of State Charlie Daniels (D) said his office returned $11.3 million to owners of unclaimed property in fiscal year 2013, an increase of 30% over the amount of claims paid in 2012.
All told, more than 13,000 Arkansans received a check for unclaimed property last year. The Auditor’s office initiated a new e-Filing online claims process during the past year, which Daniels said was a contributor to more claims being paid.
“It’s very common for un-cashed checks, refunds, deposits and credit balances to wind up sitting in our office because the original owner has moved or passed away,” Daniels said. “Now that we have an option to file electronically, it is easier than ever to claim your money.”
The Auditor of State provides an online unclaimed property search at www.auditor.ar.gov, as well as a mobile app for users with Smart Phones. Users can search for property by entering a last name and, in many instances, can complete the claim process online and receive their check in less than 7 days.
Each year during the Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt, the office publishes a list of owner names in newspapers across the state and, more recently, has been using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about the program.
The Unclaimed Property Division (UCP) of the Auditor’s office has received national recognition for its beefed up online program. Earlier this year, Talk Business reported on the increase in claims and reduction in paperwork the effort has produced.
“The key to putting more of this money back in peoples’ pockets where it belongs is simply awareness. Remember that it’s up to you to check the list, and you’ll probably be surprised at what you find,” Daniels added.
For more information, contact the Auditor of State’s office at 1-800-CLAIM-IT, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by searching www.auditor.ar.gov.