Nearly one billion dollars of unclaimed money in Tennessee

TENNESSEE — “Wow that is super exciting and surprising,” said Carmichael Crutchfield, reacting to finding out he had over $250 of unclaimed money.

“I’m really shocked,” said Crutchfield, “I was just playing around with that and I am amazed that there is money out there that is owed to me.”

Crutchfield is just one of the thousands of people with unclaimed property in the state of Tennessee.

“In Tennessee, unclaimed property is predominantly money, money that’s been lost in transition so to speak,” said Shelli King, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Treasury. She says unclaimed property can be anything from a last paycheck that was never sent after changing addresses, to a refund from a deposit.

“After a period of 3 years, businesses turn that money over to the state and it is the job of the unclaimed property division, in the Tennessee Department of Treasury, to return that money to consumers,” said King.

Chances are high that there is money owed to you, because the unclaimed property pot is full.

“We have just shy of a billion dollars in unclaimed property,” said King, “994 million dollars is unclaimed.”

So now you may be wondering how you can find out if you will be getting a cut.
It’s actually quite simple.

“First thing they can do is go to ClaimItTN.Gov which will take you into a page on the treasury website, and from there you can learn about unclaimed property and you can begin your search,” said King.

According to officials with the Tennessee Department of Treasury, there is over $18 million of unclaimed money in our coverage area.

“When our accounting division checked into the unclaimed money we found that there were about a dozen accounts they ranged anywhere from 43 dollars to $1,521 so it came out to be an excess of $4,000,” said Steve Bowers, the communications director for the Jackson Energy Authority.

JEA officials say they will now be checking TN Unclaimed Property every year.

“It was not an account that we checked but our accounting division will check that each year now as a result of the work of Channel 7 and letting us know that we were on that list,” said Bowers.

Even the Tennessee Governor got in on the money claiming fun.

“We returned a check for more than $300 to Governor Lee,” said King.

You don’t have to be the Governor, or a company to get claim money.

Pastor Crutchfield says if he was able to get money back… anyone can.

“It’s an exciting thought being a person that leads a church,” said Crutchfield, “it would be great if some of that belongs to the people in the congregation and they might tithe from it.”

You may be thinking there has to be a catch.

“We are taught to believe if it seems too good to be true it may not be,” said King, “but that is why I tell people if you’re not sure go to the TN Dept. of Treasury website and start a search yourself.”

The Tennessee Department of Treasury’s unclaimed property division will be at the Ballpark at Jacksonh on May 18 with additional information on how you can claim your money.

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