$40 million waiting to be claimed from state

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi has $40,000,000 waiting to give out, and some of it could be yours. The money is in the state's unclaimed property fund, which is held by the state treasury until the rightful owners are located.

Thursday, State Treasurer Tate Reeves alongside Rankin County Chancery Clerk Larry Swales returned $40,135 to Audrey Chason Harvey, of Brandon, from Mississippi's unclaimed property reserve.

Harvey, 37, found the money after searching the State Treasurer's web site. The reclaimed monies were received from an insurance policy purchased by her late husband Chad Chason.

"A friend of mine told me to check into it, and I was surprised to find something there for me," Harvey said. "I'm going to use it to buy a house and a piece of land. I feel very blessed, and this will also help my children in every way."

"I hope that this large sum of money will be life-changing for Audrey and her family," said Treasurer Reeves. "It is always a privilege to present unclaimed property checks to Mississippi families."

Unclaimed property consists of dormant funds that businesses report to the Mississippi Treasury Department. Businesses such as banks, savings and loan companies, insurance companies, and travelers' check companies are required by law to report these monies to the state treasury after funds have been dormant for five years.

The Treasurer's office attempts to contact owners of the unclaimed funds by mailing a notice to the last known address, publishing the names every three years in statewide newspapers, and circulating the names to county court houses.

The State of Mississippi never assumes ownership of unclaimed monies, but acts as a custodian until the rightful owners or heirs are found.   Mississippians can check for unclaimed property on the Treasurer's web site. All unclaimed funds of $50 or more are listed by the owner's last name. Searching the website is free and the State of Mississippi does not charge for returning unclaimed funds. There are companies which search unclaimed property funds around the country and charge a 10% fee, but anyone can search Mississippi's unclaimed funds list at no charge.