KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Missing money gets returned to owners.

Recently, N.C. Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, returned missing cash to Lenoir County during a visit to Kinston. 

The money that was missing came from the Department of State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division. It’s called NCCash.com. During a review of data in the system, UPD staff identified $2,897.35 belonging to Lenoir County 4-H.

“Any time we can put money back into the hands of the rightful owners it is a good day. When we can help an organization as important as 4-H, which is the largest youth development organization not only in North Carolina but the nation, we are meeting our obligation to taxpayers and constituents and helping the next generation of public leaders and public workers,” Folwell said.  

“4-H traces its roots back more than 100 years, when agricultural clubs were formed to acquaint rural youth with advances in farm technology. It has shown great resiliency over the years, adapting to a changing world while remaining true to its roots of research, knowledge and education and expanding from rural to urban and suburban settings,” Folwell said. 

“We’re very happy to receive these dollars. It’s a real windfall for us,” said Tammy Kelly, Lenoir County Extension Director. She said Lenoir County Cooperative Extension gets funding from N.C. State University and the county, but relies on fundraisers to pay for 4-H programs and camps.

“When we do a concession stand at the livestock show it doesn’t make that much. I think it’s going to be amazing how many things we can do with this money.” 

Kelly said 4-H works within schools and outside of those clubs. Some programs are year-round, others are only in the summer.

“We do agriculture, but we do other things too, like robotics and electronics. People think cows and cooking, but it’s so many things now. We’ve got programs in a little bit of everything,” Kelly said.

NCCash is the repository for 17.7 million properties valued at $1.02 billion under DST’s custody awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties being safeguarded by DST. 

According to Folwell’s office, UPD paid 178,857 claims amounting to more than $105 million during the 2022 fiscal year that ended June 30. Both numbers were historical records. The returns are on pace to set another record this fiscal year. Through Sept. 30, UPD has paid 45,262 claims totaling nearly $28.1 million from NCCash.

Part of that total has been disbursed through the NCCash Match program, a no-hassle, expedited system that eliminated paperwork processing. As of Sept. 30, DST paid 25,058 Cash Match claims totaling nearly $8.4 million. 

Under state law, UPD receives and safeguards funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST. The unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. 

Unclaimed property can result from a person or entity forgetting they are due money, or from a move of location and forgetting to provide a new address. It also could result from a typing error in a house number or zip code in an address, a name change, or data loss from a business converting its computer system. As society becomes more mobile and steadily moves to electronic transactions, the risk of having unclaimed property has increased.  More information, including how to find out if you are owed money, can be found at https://www.nccash.com/.