Colorado returns nearly $1M in unclaimed property

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Don’t think it can’t happen – because it does, said State Treasurer Mike Coffman of the Great Colorado Payback.

Nearly $1 million was turned over to rightful owners in July. Coffman said since his aggressive promotion of the program intended to return lost money to its rightful owners, the response has been good – and that many people who did not know they had money due them did.

“Coloradoans are facing financially difficult times which makes it more important than ever for us to return as much unclaimed property as possible,” Coffman said.

Unclaimed property includes assets such as checking accounts, payroll wages, safety deposit boxes, stocks and bonds, state taxes and other assets that have remained idle for a period of time, usually three to five years, and for which no address can be found.

During July, the Great Colorado Payback returned over $988,000, an increase of $407,000 for the same period in 2001. Last year the office honored 1,019 claims, compared to 1,952 paid this year.

“A wide array of factors have led to the surge in claims,” explained Coffman. “First, due to the current economic environment, more people are trying harder to find any resources available to them.

“Second, I believe that the emphasis the Treasury has placed on promoting the Great Colorado Payback has encouraged more Coloradoans to check for their name on our list.”

Anyone can check for unclaimed property by going to the state website at www.treasurer.state.co.us.