$5 million in unclaimed funds due Highlands residents
By Chip Rowe
A year ago, we published a list of people from the Highlands who are owed money by New York State. The state comptroller maintains a database of checks — utility refunds, the balance of forgotten bank accounts, stock dividends, insurance payouts, security deposits, unused gift cards — that for whatever reason were returned to sender.
Companies are required by law to report dormant accounts to the state and, if the owner can’t be located, turn over the funds to the Comptroller. The agency maintains a public database of these “unclaimed funds” to match lost money with lost people. It dates back to 2007.
So far this year the Comptroller has distributed $248 million, but $15 billion remains. That includes $1.2 million owed to Cold Spring residents and businesses, $766,000 to those in Garrison and $2.9 million to those in Beacon, for a total of $4.8 million from 9,516 dormant accounts.
As a public service, The Current last year obtained a list of residents and businesses in Cold Spring, Garrison, Nelsonville and Beacon, dead or alive, who appear in the database, which can be searched online by last name or organization. The lists through Dec. 31, 2016, are posted with our previous story. The names from 2017 and early 2018 are posted below.
Because the public database does not reveal how much is owed, applying for the funds can feel like playing a scratch-off lottery ticket. The amount could be a penny (although the Comptroller only pays on claims of $3.01 or more) or $8 million — the two extremes. (Although 70 percent of payouts are less than $100, one New Yorker received stock worth $5.2 million.) If your business or name appears below, or you are the next-of-kin, visit osc.state.ny.us/ouf. You will be prompted to complete a form, which can usually be submitted online but in some cases must be mailed with further proof of identity. Call 800-221-9311 with questions.