Treasurer's Office reuniting Idahoans with long-lost money

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Treasurer's Office reuniting Idahoans with long-lost money

By On Your Side newsroom. CREATED Mar 27, 2014

These days people are doing anything they can to get some extra cash. One of the easiest ways to find money might be to get funds from the state that *already belong to you.  Right now state of idaho is holding on to $120 million of unclaimed money, hoping to find the rightful owners.

"It does not belong to the state of Idaho, even though we hold it in trust. It belongs to them in perpetuity, or their heirs," said State Treasurer Ron Crane.

What happens is, one way or another, people forget about accounts in their names. After five years, the bank, or the insurance company --  whoever -- is required to turn those funds over to the Treasurer's Office.

Take the story of one Fruitland woman, whose husband had a life insurance policy she didn't know about.  He passed away, and years later the state caught up with her to hand over the leftover policy amount of $12,000.

"She was absolutely delighted. In fact she came down to the Treasurer's office and gave me a hug," Crane said.

The state is using the "unclaimed property" button at idaho.gov, hoping to reunite more owners with their precious money.  

But not all of the unclaimed property is cash . Some of it comes from safety deposit boxes -- items that have been locked away and forgotten. The Idaho State Historical Museum has the right to assess those items for historical significance, and even put them on display.  

"This souvenier spoon is from one of the World's Fairs in Chicago," said curator Sarah Phillips of one unclaimed item in particular. "So it might not have a lot of monetary value, but it is important to Idaho and American culture."

The items, however, still belong to the rightful owner forever, so time will never run out to stake your claim. The question is, will you take the time?

 

"Type their name in and see what's there, because they may be surprised," Crane said.

--Spencer Blake
Today's 6/Fox 9 On Your Side

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