Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman this week announced that she is working to connect military veterans with property the state may be holding for them.
The treasurer’s office oversees about $400 million worth of unclaimed property turned over by government agencies, banks and insurance and stock companies that can’t find the owners. The office then works to find and return the property to its rightful owner through such means as publishing in newspapers and providing an online search option.
Steelman said her office has matched databases of names of active and retired military members with lists of those with unclaimed property in an effort dubbed Operation Extra Mile. By running the names of 36,000 Missouri veterans, about 2,600 potential matches already have been found who may have property worth a total of $150,000 held by the state, Steelman’s office said.
“We’re trying to actively return as much money as possible,” she said in a phone interview. “But particularly active military right now, there’s a financial hardship on those men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, having to leave their job.”
The data matching will be done periodically as new property is discovered and veteran files are updated, she said.
Steelman said it’s the first time the Unclaimed Property Division has been able to target a group of people using certain databases to track down property owners, and that it’s looking at ways to use the concept to reach other groups of people.
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