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Time to cash in Atmore

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Escambia County residents could have thicker pocketbooks if they claim their property with the State of Alabama.
According to the state treasury department, 1,504 properties with Atmore addresses are unclaimed. These properties represent $335,000 in value. In all of Escambia County, there are more than 3,900 listings, which represents $920,000.
State treasurer Kay Ivey announced August as "Unclaimed Property Awareness Month" and said there is $370 million waiting in Montgomery to be given away. Ivey said in a press release that unclaimed property comes in all shapes and sizes.
"Unclaimed property can be in the form of uncashed checks, stocks, bonds, dividend checks, utility deposits and even items found in abandoned safe deposit boxes," Ivey said. "After a business has held unclaimed property for a number of years set by law, they turn it over to the state treasury and we hold it until individuals come forward to claim it."
Ivey said there has been more than $50 million received this fiscal year in unclaimed property. She also said more than $17 million was returned to residents of the state of Alabama.
According to Ivey, $22 million in unclaimed property was paid to 36,669 individuals last year.
Ivey said there is a lot of work involved in collecting the funds from different agencies that are not able to get in touch with the property owners.
"So much hard work goes into collecting these funds from businesses, banks and insurance companies that are unable to contact property owners," Ivey said. "All the hard work is worthwhile when owners are located and are able to connect with their assets."
Ivey suggests all Alabama residents to look for their name at www.treasury.alabama.gov in the unclaimed property database at the Treasury Web site. Any claim can be filed on the Internet or by calling 1-888-844-8400.
"We've got money that belongs to people in every nook and cranny in Alabama," Ivey said. "Go online or call us and if you find your name and you can prove you are who you say you are, my staff and I would love to send you a check."