The Commonwealth of Virginia is waiting for Virginians to come forward and reclaim their missing money. The state currently sits on top of a pile of VA unclaimed money totaling in the tens of millions of dollars. Over $27 million was returned to Virginians in 2005, but that’s only a small slice of what is yet to be claimed.
The state of Virginia, like every other state, continues to take in more unclaimed funds than it returns to citizens, mainly due to the fact that the majority of people are simply unaware of these monies, and those that are aware, don’t know the proper way to track them down. There is a right way and a wrong way to search, and sadly most people haven’t learned the correct way.
According to the Unclaimed Property Div of the VA Department of the Treasury, VA unclaimed money arrives from a number of sources, which include (but are certainly not limited to): savings and checking accounts, underlying shares, wages or commissions, credit balances, dividends, customer deposits, credit memos, gift certificates, refunds.
People don’t need to currently reside in VA to be owed unclaimed property, especially sense the majority of accounts must be abandoned for 1 to 3 years before they are handed over to the state, and laws governing other types do not require that they be handed over for seven, ten, even fifteen years! Moving out of state doesn’t mean that you’ve given up your rights to the money at all.
In addition to people who’ve moved out of state, some people may have never lived in The Commonwealth of Virginia. For example, some folks work for companies that have their headquarters in VA. Additionally, insurance companies are often located outside of the home state of the insured person. For these reasons, items like refunds, premium overpayments, and stocks might exist as unclaimed cash in VA, even if the rightful owner has never even set foot in the state!
People who live in VA should also search in other states where there is a chance they are owed money, for the same reasons that people who don’t live in VA should search the state’s listings.
There are a number of roadblocks that often prevent people from tracking down their missing money, but most of them boil down to being uninformed about the best way to search. Not only do most people get in their own way by checking the records in only one state, usually the one they live in, but they also tend to search once and call it quits.
As was mentioned earlier, each type of VA unclaimed property, and unclaimed property in all other states, have their own individual “dormancy periods” (amount of time that must pass before the funds are handed over to the state to hold until you claim them). In addition to some property types having long dormancy periods, states do not update their searchable records immediately, which means if the state is holding your monies, you may not find a record when searching, if they haven’t added it to their system.
If a citizen searches their name on Monday, but the VA Department of Unclaimed Money didn’t get around to adding the record of their monies until Tuesday, or the following week or month, the search might come up empty.
These are just a few of the hurdles that often get in the way of people trying to locate VA unclaimed funds for the first time, which is why it is imperative that you find someone with experience in this field to help you through the process to track down all potential claims.
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