GUEST COLUMN: How Your Treasury Gave $40 Million Back to Mississippi
Published 8:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 2021
By Treasurer David McRae | Guest Columnist
We all know the feeling when you dig out a winter coat and find a $20 bill forgotten in the pocket. At your State Treasury, it’s our job to help Mississippians dig through life’s pockets to find money you have long forgotten (or perhaps, were unaware you were even entitled to).
There’s a lot of money to be found too. In fact, during my first two years as your State Treasurer, I returned a record-breaking $40 million.
Where does this money come from? It could be an energy bill refund that was sent to the wrong address, a forgotten-about CD, or an inheritance you were unaware you had. If no one claims these funds for five years, the money gets turned over to my team, and we become responsible for finding the rightful owner and returning the cash to them.
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Having unclaimed money is pretty common. In fact, about one in 10 people have an outstanding claim. But most don’t know to check. That’s why our team made it a priority to proactively seek out the owners of unclaimed money across the Magnolia State.
This year, we also made it easier to claim your cash by implementing a new e-claims process. For the first time in Mississippi, most can search for and complete their claim with just a few clicks of the mouse.
There are a few clear advantages to this. First, Mississippians no longer need to hunt down a notary for a paper form, which we know was a deterrent for many. Second, because you are no longer required to send the forms via snail mail, your money is generally returned faster. Finally, the e-Claims process is encrypted, making it incredibly secure.
The changes have made an impact. After a record-breaking first year, we maintained momentum and broke a new set of records in 2021.
There is still more to claim. Please take a moment today to search for your name, your church, your business, or a family member. The database (found at Treasury.MS.gov/Search) is updated constantly, so even if you checked earlier this year, it might be worth another look now.
There are no fees to file your claim; so, if you find cash that could be yours, claim it. Then, we’ll get to work verifying the return.
Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi.