PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the state of Rhode Island in possession of millions of dollars worth of unclaimed property, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner’s office has been sending out checks to residents worth an average of about $250.
But for one man – the check was worth more than he could’ve ever imagined.
“Emmanuel came into our office, he said that he had hit on tough times,” Magaziner said Monday.
According to Magaziner, Emmanuel was a member of a credit union that closed down.
“He had over $12,000 in that credit union,” Magaziner said. “He didn’t know where it was, or how to get to it.”
Little did Emmanuel know, all of that money was on its way back to him thanks to Magaziner’s “Your Money” program, which aims to reunite Rhode Islanders with their unclaimed property. The treasurer’s office plans to send out approximately 35,000 checks totaling $10 million by the end of the year.
Unclaimed property can include money left in old bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, uncashed paychecks, unreturned utility deposits and uncollected insurance payments, just to name a few.
“They don’t just get to keep your money, they have to turn it into the state that you’re in,” Magaziner added.
Are you owed any money?Search the Unclaimed Property Database »
Magaziner said that statistics show one in five Rhode Islanders have unclaimed property and some, like Emmanuel, are receiving checks worth upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
“When Emmanuel was in our office he was very excited that we had his missing money,” Magaziner said. “And we know that there are thousands of Rhode Islanders just like him.”
If the state can find an address for someone owed money, a check will be sent automatically. Those without an address on file will have to file a claim.
Unclaimed property never expires and next of kin is eligible to claim money owed to a deceased relative.
The state recommends checking the nationwide database yourself to see if money is owed to you.