Unclaimed money efforts return $44 million to state economy, $81,00o to Putnam County

Friday, February 17, 2012
Back in August, "significant" unclaimed money found its way back to Greencastle resident Kent Mecum (right). During a visit to the Inn at DePauw, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller presented Mecum with a ceremonial check commemorating the event.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Attorney General Greg Zoeller has announced that more than $44 million in unclaimed property was returned to residents or former residents of Indiana during 2011.

The total of $44,279,082.93 exceeds by more than $4 million the 2010 amount that went back into the pockets of Hoosiers.

"While $44 million was returned to its rightful owners, the amount of money turned over to the state by holders more than doubled from the previous year," Zoeller said.

"It is more important than ever for people to continue to search for themselves, and their family, friends and neighbors. I want this money to find its way back to the rightful owners."

The attorney general's office announced that in Putnam County, 217 properties were returned to local residents for a total returned value of $87,461.38.

Back in August, Zoeller and his staff came to Greencastle to present a check to local resident Kent Mecum, a retired DePauw University professor who received an undisclosed amount ("significant money" officials said) in interest and dividends from 13 different stock properties he once held in a company.

Zoeller said making a claim with the Attorney General's Unclaimed Property Division is free and easy. He encourages all Hoosiers to visit www.IndianaUnclaimed.com to search for unclaimed property.

In the last several months, businesses and other holders have turned over more than $121 million to the state of accounts in which there has been no activity for several years, depending on the type of account.

Unclaimed property includes investment earnings, insurance proceeds and benefits, wages, and money from savings and checking accounts.

Less than one percent of unclaimed assets are tangible, physical items, such as those found in safe-deposit boxes. It is important to note that unclaimed property does not include abandoned vehicles or real estate.

In total, the state's unclaimed property database now holds more than $350 million in assets.

In 2011, the attorney general's office returned more than 77,000 properties totaling more than $44.2 million. Last year, nearly $18 million was returned to individuals with last known addresses in Central Indiana.

In Hendricks County, 1,409 properties were returned at a value of $760,201.29.

In Morgan County the totals were 740 properties amounting to $293,341.60, while in Montgomery County, the totals were 281 properties at a value of $222,791.81. In Owen County, 161 properties were returned at a total value of $116,780.07.

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