Boone County residents can claim property through online database

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 5:11 p.m. CDT; updated 8:48 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 18, 2011

COLUMBIA — Someone in Boone County has $3,600 waiting for him or her in the Boone County Treasurer's Office.

Now a person can claim it by typing his or her name into an online database.

Last week, Nicole Galloway, the Boone County treasurer, launched the first unclaimed property website for a county in Missouri.

Currently, the database holds 3,000 accounts that add up to $50,000 in unclaimed property.

According to Galloway, accounts range from a penny to $3,600. They include checks issued by the county that have been outstanding for at least 180 days, she said.

After three years, these accounts are turned over to State Treasurer Clint Zweifel's office for dispersal.

The open accounts in the county database include recipients who have vendor checks, inmate checks or tax refunds that were never claimed. Previously, citizens had to call Galloway's office to inquire about unclaimed money. Now it is just a click away

"Boone County has a history of good customer service," Galloway said. "I see this as bringing that forward. I think it's the most effective and efficient way to provide this customer service."

Galloway said her ultimate goal is to make sure citizens get what's owed to them.

"It's the citizens' money," she said. 

She said she hopes that making it easier will result in more returns and earlier returns. The money is harder to claim once it has been given to the state treasurer, she said.

Also, the longer it is held, the more likely the original owner's address and contact information have changed. A new address or phone number requires additional proof of ownership.

By adding the database to the county website, Galloway said, citizens will know it's a safe way to claim their money.

"I want to make sure people know it's not fraudulent," she said.

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