GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – Right now, in South Carolina, $750 million worth of unclaimed property is waiting for thousands of rightful owners to come forward.
When Anna Sanders in Greer was between jobs this summer, she was wondering how she would pay the bills.
“I really didn’t have much, I was just trying to make ends meet and get the bills paid,” said Sanders.
But she says she never imagined she would have to do little to no work at all to make up her lost income, until her boyfriend encouraged her to search missingmoney.com.
“And I was like I don’t think I have any money because there’s no way I left money somewhere, I’d take it with me. So I tried and my name came up,” said Sanders.
She had two claims in fact, one for $364 in South Carolina for an overpaid car loan, and the other in her home state of Michigan for $225.
“That was for a payroll check I never picked up. It must have been my last check or something which I can’t see myself doing that either, that was like 20 years ago. It was sitting there for a long time,” said Sanders.
It may have been sitting, but Treasurer Curtis Loftis said all of the hundreds of millions in unclaimed property in the state is invested, so the money is working for taxpayers as it waits to be claimed.
Meanwhile, Loftis said he’s aggressive about making sure companies that hold onto missing money turn it over to the state according to the timeline set out by law.
“We’ve been very active in going around the country and either litigating or auditing, whatever it takes, to bring money home. We brought back $75 million from one life insurance company. They were old policies and they kind of held onto them because they thought, ‘Well they’re not going to give that money back.’ Well, we have a lot of tools here, and we’ve returned half of it already,” said Loftis.
New money is always being reported to the Treasurer’s office. In fact, this past year 615,000 new properties came in totaling $84.5 million.
And that’s why even with millions returned each year, the fund keeps growing.
But both Loftis and people like Sanders said they’d much prefer it be in the hands of its rightful owners.
“I don’t know for somebody like me even to take a couple of weeks off of work hurts, you know, so it just helped me get through,” said Sanders.
If $500 can make a difference, imagine this: The Treasurer’s office told 7NEWS the largest claim paid in the Upstate happened earlier this year, to the estate of a person in Oconee County for no less than $600,000.