Finding New Ways to Return Money to You
This month marked an incredible milestone at your State Treasury. In a single week, we returned more than $1.2 million of unclaimed money back to Mississippians.
For those who are unfamiliar, returning unclaimed money is a core function of the Mississippi Treasury. These funds become “unclaimed” after banks and other financial institutions are unable to match the money with the rightful owner over the course of about five years. After that point, it becomes our responsibility.
When I got to office, it was clear how inefficient the system was – how difficult government bureaucracy had made it to re-claim your cash – and I set out to change a few things. First, we transitioned to an e-claims system that allows many to find and claim their funds with just a few clicks of the mouse. This eliminated the burden of having to track down a notary as well.
Once the e-claims system began to catch on, we started making more substantial changes to the software behind it all to help reduce the time it took to get the funds back to you. Together, these two changes have helped us quadruple our average weekly output, increasing the average returns from around $100,000 per week when I took office to about $400,000 today.
Here is why all of this is important: The funds stored in the unclaimed money system are not the state’s to hold on to. This is your money! At a time when nearly every family is talking about rising prices at the dinner table, we are providing an inflation-busting economic stimulus that doesn’t add to the taxpayer burden.
The cumulative results have been incredible too. Since taking office, we have returned more than $75 million in unclaimed money – that’s no small chunk of change!
But we aren’t done yet. We are continuing to find ways to innovate and meet you where you are! For example, on October 19-20, the Louisiana State Treasurer and I will be joining forces to return unclaimed money across state lines – the first time this has been done in Mississippi!
The reality is that Mississippi and Louisiana not only share a common border, but a common bond as well. Our families grow up in one state and get an education in the other; they vacation in one, but call the other home. In this way, it makes sense that individuals in Mississippi may have lost track of funds left behind in Louisiana, and vice versa. Together, I’m hopeful that we will be able to infuse our neighboring economies with a financial stimulus that can make both states a little stronger.
If you are in the area, please join us at the Bay St. Louis Community Hall on October 20 from 2PM to 7PM.
If the Coast isn’t in your neck of the woods, our team will also be at the State Fair helping fairgoers find cash in real time. Please stop by our booth!
And if neither of these events work in your schedule, check for unclaimed money any time at Treasury.MS.gov/SEARCH.