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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Making it easier to get your stuff back

Casimiro-Magaziner bill on unclaimed property signed into law

Legislation (2017-H 5743) introduced by Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter), in cooperation with General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, which will make it easier for Treasury to return unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders through more efficient communication between state agencies has been signed into law by the governor.

“More than 300,000 Rhode Islanders have unclaimed property, and most don’t even realize it,” said Representative Casimiro. “This legislation will make it as easy as possible for the state to notify Rhode Islanders that the state is holding their property.”

“My office is holding more than $300 million in cash and unclaimed property that is waiting to be claimed by its rightful owner,” said Treasurer Magaziner. 

“People are often shocked to learn that we are holding money that is rightfully theirs. This legislation will help us get money back to Rhode Islanders faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

Every year Treasury recovers unclaimed cash and assets from businesses, banks, securities, bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, and utility deposits. 

The property is kept safe until it can be returned to its rightful owner. 

In 2016, the Unclaimed Property program returned more than $12.8 million on more than 8,000 claims, yet there are currently more than 425,000 properties available for claim worth more than $325 million.

In addition to helping to return more Unclaimed Property, the legislation also allows Treasury, and the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island to collaborate with other state departments where data sharing can provide additional or more updated information on individuals already in Treasury’s databases. 

This information can improve the speed and accuracy of identity verification for payment processing and will also allow the Retirement Board to more effectively manage post-retirement employment compliance.