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City to hold unclaimed property events

With one in four Virginians having not claimed money rightly belonging to them, there’s a good chance some Suffolk residents are on the Virginia Department of Treasury’s unclaimed property list.

Because of that, the Suffolk treasurer’s office has partnered with the state’s Treasury Department to hold two free events at the city’s treasurer’s offices — from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 4 at the North Suffolk Library at 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 at City Hall at 442 W. Washington St.

For those who cannot make it to either of the two events, people can go to vamoneysearch.org and search online for free.

In fiscal year 2018, the unclaimed property program returned $79.6 million to Virginia residents.

“A lot of people don’t realize they have money that’s due to them,” said city Deputy Treasurer Andrew Owen.

Owen said people could be owed money in myriad ways — from utility deposits, customer refunds, unpaid wages, money from insurance policies, securities and investments and bank accounts. That can happen due to things like a move or a name change.

The state Treasury Department says people have an indefinite amount of time to file a claim, as it “holds all monetary property in perpetuity.”

“It’s a great opportunity, and it doesn’t cost anything,” Owen said. “It’s not a ‘gotcha’ by any means.”

However, people won’t be walking out of the treasurer’s office with a check or cash in their hand, though Owen said it will expedite the process.

“They’re not bringing a bag of cash with them the day of,” Owen said. “It gets the process started, but you’re not going to walk out of here with those … funds,” Owen said.

Once they show identification and the state’s Treasury Department finds anything, people will fill out a form for the unclaimed property, and it could take from six to eight weeks to process a claim. It could potentially take longer if the state requires more information.

Owen said the process is not difficult, and it’s worth checking even if someone is unsure or doubtful they are owed money.

“It never hurts to look to find out,” Owen said.

For more information about the program, or to file a claim online, go to vamoneysearch.org.