Kentucky has $69 million waiting for treasure finders [The Arena]

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Kentucky’s State Treasurer, Todd Hollenbach, announced last week that his Treasure Finders program is coming to Louisville.  Treasure Finders Kentucky is an operation designed to locate Kentucky residents who may have unclaimed property.  The hallmark of the program is the coordination between local elected officials, civic-minded volunteers and the Kentucky State Treasury.  The idea is to reunite residents of Metro Louisville with their money.

Each year the Kentucky State Treasury receives millions of dollars from holders (such as banks and insurance companies) who by statute must transfer assets of inactive accounts. Efforts are made to notify the public that property is being held.  Each year about 20 percent is returned to owners.  Treasurer Hollenbach says that he believes that percentage is far too small, and wishes to increase the percentage. 

Hollenbach assembles a volunteer team by asking local officials to volunteer their time and knowledge.  To further the chances for success he asks they recruit additional volunteers.  The selection criteria for the recruits are persons with deep community roots.  Likely candidates would be local civic group, business, or religious leaders or people who have in depth knowledge of community residents.

Kentucky State Treasury staff will travel for a day designated Treasure Finders Day.  The local team will examine the listing of unclaimed property holders with last known addresses in the local county and recognized individuals will be contacted.   In short, the Kentucky State Treasury will borrow the substantial knowledge of the local volunteers to find potential claimants.  Treasury staff will assist local officials and potential claimants with the claim process.

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Since there's a lot of ground to cover in Jefferson County (Metro Louisville), officials are breaking the lists down by metro council districts.  "We're going to come into those districts with lists, and set up a day where we put together a phone bank and try to return as much money as we can," said Hollenbach.

The first Treasure Finders event will be Saturday, June 18th in Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh's district.  On Saturday, June 18th, volunteers will meet at the Clifton Center from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to make telephone calls to residents who have been identified as having unclaimed money in the amount of 100 dollars or more.

"In these tough economic times being made aware of this unclaimed money will no doubt be helpful," said Ward-Pugh. "Many times people just don't know the Commonwealth of Kentucky has millions of dollars in these unclaimed accounts. I am glad to help connect the treasure with its rightful owner."

If you would like to volunteer to help make those calls, contact the Councilwoman's office at (502)574-1109.

Upon contact, officials and volunteers will suggest the potential claimants travel to the courthouse or contact the Kentucky State Treasury Unclaimed Property Division.   Eligible claimants will be coached through the identification process by Unclaimed Property Staff.  Successful claims (after the submittal of evidence documents) are usually processed in eight to twelve weeks.

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