State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, thought he was simply doing his job by returning missing money to a Surry County baker on Thursday, Aug. 10. But to hear Miss Angel tell it, he was really planting seeds to help meet a pressing community need.
“I have a huge nonprofit that I’m working to set up to take care of unfortunate children in the area,” said Angela “Miss Angel” Shure, owner of Miss Angels Heavenly Pies, Inc. on Main Street. She plans to invite children to help grow food on her farm and orchard for distribution as a sort of food bank. Getting a check from NCCash.com and a personal visit from Treasurer Folwell were twin surprises.
“You don’t get a chance too often to meet people that work behind the scenes, that work for the state. It was an absolute pleasure,” Shure said. As for the reclaimed money, “I guess you can say what goes around comes around because it came in to me and it’s going right into my nonprofit for the community.”
Working full-time at her business as expenses are rising, while organizing a start-up nonprofit, is challenging, she said. Fundraising is difficult in the current economy. “This is the first check going in there so I’m very happy. It put a smile on this lady’s face.”
“At the Department of State Treasurer (DST), the staff in our Unclaimed Property Division (UPD) works tirelessly to return unclaimed money in our custody to its rightful owners. In fact, there is $10.1 million payable right now to 136,701 owners in Surry County,” Treasurer Folwell said.
During a routine review of data, employees in UPD, commonly called NCCash.com, identified $549.80 belonging to Miss Angel that Institution Food House, a food service distributor in Hickory, was unable to deliver and turned over to DST.
“It is not uncommon that people like Miss Angel had no idea their missing money was just sitting there waiting for them to claim it. What is exceptional is how she is choosing to use the money being returned to her. Her selfless devotion to her fellow man and desire to uplift her community is a wonderful example of the heart and soul of North Carolina,” Treasurer Folwell said.
While he was on a whirlwind trip through western North Carolina, Treasurer Folwell also returned $5,776.89 to the United Fund of Surry County, and $2,775 to Surry County. He participated in a joint check presentation with officials from those entities during a meeting of the Surry Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in the day he returned $3,800 to Universal Health Care/King in Stokes County.
UPD safeguards money that has become undeliverable for a variety of reasons. It retains custody of the money until the rightful owners claim it.
Through May 31, UPD has paid 174,466 claims statewide totaling over $99.6 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 May 31, DST paid 99,551 NC Cash Match claims totaling $26.3 million.
Under state law, NCCash.com is the repository for funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST custody. 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.
NCCash.com is currently safeguarding nearly $1.09 billion in escheated funds, representing 17.7 million properties awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties.
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.