PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A substantial growth in the amount of unclaimed property in the state of Rhode Island’s possession is bringing new interest to the state’s “Your Money” program.

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced Monday that the pool of unclaimed property grew by $23 million last year, bringing the total to more than $389 million statewide.

Within 24 hours of the announcement, 4,500 claims were filed for property worth $1.15 million in total.

Magaziner tells Eyewitness News over the past few days, the state has reunited nearly 8,000 Rhode Islanders with more than $3 million in unclaimed property.

He said the launch of the “Find RI Money” website has helped streamline the process of reuniting people, businesses and nonprofits with what’s rightfully theirs.

Are you owed money? Check

“This money belongs to the individuals, to the Rhode Islanders,” Magaziner said. “It’s their property and so it lasts forever.”

Magaziner said in more complicated claims, additional documentation may be required, but even if your case is complex, you’re still entitled to the property by law.

“We’ll hold onto that property forever, so even if it’s 10 years, 20 years, 50 years later,” Magaziner said. “It never expires, so people can claim it at any time.”

Magaziner said the unclaimed property includes money from old bank accounts and uncashed paychecks as well as unreturned rent or utility deposits.

Following these tips, according to Magaziner, could help prevent your property from being abandoned:

  • When moving, change your address with the United States Postal Service. This will ensure any checks, rebates or financial correspondence will be forwarded to your new address.
  • Keep a current list of all open bank accounts and life insurance policies, and check in on them every six months. If you move, be sure to update your address.
  • If you leave your employer, confirm they have the correct address on file for any additional payroll, retirement statements, reimbursements and bonuses.
  • If you have a safe deposit box, make sure the address is up-to-date.