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Today is January 22, 2021

$15 million back to Mississippi - Some may be yours

By David McRae

Looking for a little extra cash this holiday season? Then, I’d like to ask you to do something right now: Take out your phone and go to Treasury.MS.gov.

Scroll down and type your last name in the unclaimed property search box. Is there money listed for you to claim? If so, claim it.

You see, it’s sometimes very difficult for banks, credit unions and even retail stores to find the rightful owner of certain monetized property, such as an electricity bill refund issued to your former residence, the remanence of a long-forgotten savings account or an inheritance left by a late relative. The reality is that people move, families lose touch and the money that’s left behind goes unclaimed. After five years, entities turn that money over to the state to find the rightful owners. We call this unclaimed property.

Since January when I entered office, the Treasury’s Division of Unclaimed Property has returned more than $15 million to Mississippians. It’s important to note the money we return in unclaimed property is not the state’s money — it’s not taxpayer money either. It’s your money and it’s simply the State Treasury’s responsibility to return it to the rightful owners, which is precisely what we’re doing.

Fifteen million is a lot to pump into Mississippi’s economy right now, but we still have millions more to return. With that in mind, I wanted to personally invite every Mississippian to help out with this economy-boosting effort.

I am proud of the work my team is doing to return this money. We’re conducting our own investigative work and proactively reaching out to those we believe are the rightful owners, but you can play a big role in this as well.

We know this has been a tough year financially for many in the state. But your State Treasury is here to serve and I’m hopeful this effort will bring you a little relief.

My great-grandfather grew up on a farm in rural Rankin County. He opened his first department store in Jackson at the turn of the century. Like today, that wasn’t the easiest time to start a business. World War I was coming. The 1918 flu pandemic was around the corner. And the Great Depression wasn’t far behind. But my great-grandfather understood one thing very clearly: If we were going to weather the economic tides, our family couldn’t be in the department store business; we had to be in the customer-service business. For 100 years, we were.

That same customer-service mindset is at the center of what I’m now doing as Mississippi Treasurer. With that in mind, if you don’t have internet access or cannot visit Treasury.MS.gov, please call our office at 601-359-3600. We would be happy to help you begin your search.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

 

David McRae is Mississippi’s state treasurer.

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