Letter: Get your money back

Get your money back

Editor of the Reformer:

Every year millions of unclaimed assets end up with the Vermont Treasurer's Office. As Treasurer Beth Pearce has made a concerted effort to get those assets back to the rightful owners, citizens of Vermont. The assets could be forgotten bank accounts, uncashed pay checks, security deposits, almost anything. This money does not belong to the state but the state is responsible for holding it, and returning it to the owners. In 2015, $5.11 million was returned to 13,107 people — in addition other equities beyond cash were also returned.

This year I decided I would help Beth return those assets to the residents of Windham County. The list is printed in an insert in every paper in the state but still people are unaware they might have something to claim. So the Treasurer sent me a list of Windham County residents, divided into three categories — under $10, under $200 and over $200. I decided I would start with those over $200 — send a letter with instructions and a claim form. By the time I got half way through the over $200 I had about 1,200 names. I was already up to $720. Too much. So I am hoping to alert people through the news outlets.

Simply go to VermontTreasurer.gov/unclaimed property. There is an alphabetical list. Check your name, different spellings if appropriate, your business, non-profit, place of worship, community organization. The directions are there. An important thing to remember is that there is no cost to you to claim what is rightfully yours. There are folks out there that go through the lists, contact people and offer to reclaim the property for a fee. While that is legal, it is a bit unethical as you can just do it yourself.

So, happy claiming! Hope everyone gets their money and other assets back.

Jeanette White, Putney, June 19


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