State Treasurer Talks Possible Changes To Unclaimed Money Laws

Friday, October 31st 2014, 5:55 pm
By: News 9

The State Treasurer's Office said it is holding about $500 million in unclaimed money.

You can search your name any time using the treasury website, but all that could change if a certain insurance bill passes.

There are more than 825,000 Oklahomans with unclaimed property. That means cash, paychecks, stocks and bonds, royalties and rebates were lost.

“The check came in, and it's just been a blessing," said Sherry Sanders.

A blessing in disguise, Sherry Sanders had no idea her late husband Donald left her $22,000 in life insurance.

"God gave it to me when he wanted me to have it."

It came six years after he died, when Sanders' daughter saw her mother's name on the unclaimed property list in the newspaper. In matter of weeks, Sanders got her money with help from the State Treasurer's Office.

“It is a lot of money there for a lot of people to collect," said State Treasurer Ken Miller.

So much money, insurance companies said they want lawmakers to pass House Bill 3287. It would create the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act.

"The devil's always in the details since the bill would have cut off our ability to look backwards,” Miller said.

“And we could only search now from 2015 on, which means all those monies, and there's about $1 billion in these unclaimed life insurance proceeds nationwide, so we wouldn't be able to go back and look for those."

Miller said some insurance companies wouldn't turn over money until a claim or until a limiting age, which is 100 years old.

"I'm very hopeful that the bill in its current form will not go forward," Miller said.

Something Sanders and many others said they hope for too.

"It's just been a blessing, my husband was a great man, he took care of us in the time he was here, and he was taking care of us now," she said.

Miller said if the bill does pass next year, his office would file a lawsuit.

Check out the state's unclaimed property list.