Thursday, September 14, 2023

Treasurer Folwell Goes Over the (Hiwasee) River, Through the Woods to Deliver Missing Funds

Money Belonging to Cherokee County Schools Discovered in
Murphy, NC
Sep 14, 2023

Cherokee County may have 13 schools, but that was not an unlucky number for State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA. He visited North Carolina’s westernmost county seat on Thursday, Sept. 14, to return money from the Unclaimed Property Division (UPD) to Cherokee County Schools.

“Cherokee County is renowned for its magnificent mountains, breathtaking gorges, lush forests and  rolling rivers. It was my honor today to add one more blessing by handing over money to the school district that belongs to the taxpayers, but was diverted to the Department of State Treasurer (DST),” Treasurer Folwell said. “It has been my priority, and an imperative of the staff in UPD, to make sure we make every attempt to place money entrusted to our custody back into the hands of the rightful owners.”

Money that has become undeliverable for a variety of reasons is safeguarded at UPD until the rightful owners claim it. During a review of data in UPD, commonly called, DST staff identified $2,249 belonging to the Cherokee County Schools, in which 244 teachers serve nearly 3,000 students. Treasurer Folwell held a check presentation with Schools Superintendent Keevin Woody at the Central Office on Thursday. is currently safeguarding nearly $1.09 billion in escheated funds, representing 17.7 million properties. The money is awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties being safeguarded by DST. Many residents in western North Carolina have money awaiting them in

Cherokee — $3,406,041.61; 44,993 owners

Clay — $1,856,346.32; 17,001 owners

Graham — $762,484.98; 10,787 owners

Macon — $5,655,676.43; 64,531 owners

Swain — $2,319,304.60; 31,157 owners

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, UPD paid 193,319 claims totaling $108,586,512, both historical records for a one-year period. 

Under state law, UPD receives and safeguards funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST. 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.