BLACKSBURG, Va. – There's $2 billion worth of unclaimed property in Virginia, and chances are, some of it belongs to you.
A Blacksburg homeowners association that has more than 100 members recently discovered it had a six-figure paycheck it never knew about.
While success stories like that sound unimaginable, 10 News has helped thousands in the region claim money since starting the Find Your Money Phone Bank a little over a year ago, claiming back more than $300,000.
It's like winning the lottery, but the money was always yours. All you have to do is claim it.
Doug Thompson, a CPA at Carter Bank and Trust in Christiansburg, also serves as the treasurer for his homeowners association. Recently, he received a call from the Unclaimed Property division of the Virginia Department of Treasury telling him news that he described as shocking.
“She said we think we have some property of yours that we would like to give back to you," Thompson said. The property she was talking about was a six-figure sum for his HOA that the organization's current members didn’t know about.
"It was funds we never knew that we had. When we received the check in the mail about a month later, we were astonished that previous treasurers, previous board members had lost those funds," Thompson said.
Thompson said some forensic accounting research showed that a previous treasurer who served more than a decade ago had put stocks and CDs in a safe deposit box at a local bank.
"That person apparently moved, relocated, left the board, didn't tell anybody about the safety deposit box," Thompson said.
After the deposit box that no current member knew about went dormant, the bank turned it over to the state.That's how it ended up in the unclaimed property vault in Richmond just waiting to be claimed.
Now that the HOA has claimed it, the officers were able to add that money to their capital fund.
"So we were able to reduce our monthly association for our members, which is rarely done these days,” Thompson said.
Thompson was so impressed by what his HOA found, he decided to look for himself. To his surprise, he got two hits.
"And I'm an accountant. I pretty much watch my p's and q's. I put my name and Social Security number in the system and they had some money for me personally, which surprised me. I filed my claim and I'm going to be mailing it tomorrow," Thompson said.
It was a pleasant surprise he says is worth checking into.
"I never would have thought to check,” Thompson said.
10 News is working to help you find your money with the unclaimed property phone bank.10 News be taking calls from 4 until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, then again from 6 to 9:30 a.m. Friday. Members of the Virginia Treasury Department Unclaimed Property division will be taking calls to help you find your money.