POINT PLEASANT — It’s not often people from state government show up to hand out money to the county or local residents, but that’s just what happened this week.
West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue arrived at the Mason County Courthouse this week, bearing gifts. Perdue arrived with checks from his office which were collected via unclaimed property.
Unclaimed Property is any asset that has remained unclaimed for a specific period of time, such as utility deposits, unredeemed stock, a check that was never cashed, or contents of a safe deposit box.
Perdue gathered in the county commission room for the check presentations, saying his office has returned $160 million in unclaimed property funds to the people of West Virginia. In Mason County, this year alone, $63,000 in unclaimed property funds were returned in April, with 97 claims filed, Perdue said.
So who were the lucky, local beneficiaries? Getting the biggest check was the Mason County Commission for $12,786.58, followed by Ashton Elementary which received $2,300. Mason County Commissioners Rick Handley, Tracy Doolittle and Miles Epling accepted the check on behalf of the county and Mason County Schools Treasurer Gary Hendricks accepted on behalf of Ashton Principal Alesia Green who was unable to attend.
There were also three private individuals from Mason County receiving funds from unclaimed property, with one receiving $3,852, another receiving $2,217, and still another for $2,062.
A representative from Perdue’s office said each case is different, in terms of what kind of unclaimed property made up the refund and no specific information was made available at the presentation for the checks handed out on Wednesday. Still, no one seemed to be asking too many questions of strangers bearing gifts or looking that gift horse in the mouth.
Property is reported as unclaimed after a certain period of dormancy or lack of activity. There are many reasons people may lose track of property but the most common reasons are changing jobs, moving, or the death of a close family member, according to Perdue’s office.
Residents can do a free search on Perdue’s website to see if there is unclaimed property in their name.
Go to http://www.wvtreasury.com/ for more information or call Perdue’s office toll free at 1-800-422-7498.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.