Unclaimed Ohio Funds: Learn If You're Owed Money


UPDATED: Thursday May 19, 2011 4:58 PM

The Ohio Department of Commerce is holding $1.4 billion that belongs to you.

David Goodman, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce, announced the list of names of people and businesses who have money waiting for them is available.

"It is probably the only division in the state of Ohio where people are happy to hear from us," Goodman said.

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Goodman oversees the state program designed to return money that was forgotten about or that people didn't know they had.

"If you were a youngster and worked at McDonald's and you didn't stick around for your last paycheck -- or if you were the beneficiary of an insurance policy that you didn't know that you were a beneficiary of because that person passed away or if somebody had a safety deposit box even -- and they passed away and no one really knew that they had the safety deposit box," Goodman said.  "It can be out there and we collect it and we try to find you."

Samuel Ennin's car repair business received a big boost when he discovered money waiting for him.

Ennin learned that he left $3,500 behind in an old merchant credit card account.

"Sometimes you get some easy money and you could just spend it," Ennin said.  "I (said), 'No.  I got to invest it,' so I put it right into the business again."

The state's Division of Unclaimed Funds has returned $25 million to Ohioans so far this year, Consumer 10's Kurt Ludlow reported.

The average claim is $1,000.  The largest is $500,000.

To find out if you're owed even a fraction of that amount, you can enter your name in the online database.

"(The) best way to do it would be to just use your last name and then narrow it down from there," Goodman said.

The database pairs the names with last known addresses and notes whether the amount of money is more or less than $100.

You can print out a claim form, complete it and return it to with all required documentation.

"I actually went on and found my dad, so I gave him something like $90.  He took me to dinner, so it was good for me and good for him," Goodman said.

Some companies send letters to people that claim that they can assist in helping find lost money for a fee.  The state database search is free, Ludlow reported.

Ohio has unclaimed money dating back to 1968.

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