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Find Out If South Carolina Owes You Money

10:34 PM, Apr 4, 2011   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- People across the state could stand to make some easy money.  

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis is reminding people about the Palmetto Payback Program that gives unclaimed money back to its rightful owners.

One Midlands woman is walking away with more than $66,000 she didn't realize she had, and it's all thanks to a relative who went searching for the money.

You can search for unclaimed money you may be owed here.

Jim Brantley says he's found almost $71,000 for people by simply typing in their name on the treasurer's website.

Every now and then, he checks his name and the names of friends and family to see if the state's holding any money that belongs to them.

"There was a booth at the state fair several years ago, checking your name for free. So I went up they checked my name and found out I had an old profit sharing check from an insurance company.  They don't have trouble sending me a bill. I always get them," said Brantley.

He took home about $200 from that, but his recent time on the state treasurer's website really paid off for a relative.

Monday Loftis presented a check for $66,481.39 for Brantley's relative, whose name was not revealed. The money was for an old life insurance policy under the relative's maiden name.

Loftis says the Palmetto Payback Program currently holds almost $300 million for more than 1.5 million accounts. He says everyone could stand to run their name, business, church or charity through the system.

"We found four famous politicians all in amounts of more than $3,000 in one week," said Loftis. He says you shouldn't count yourself out because of your income.

From January 1 to March 31 of this year, Loftis' office says they've handled 7,302 claims worth $3,455,767.

His office says the most common unclaimed properties are dormant bank accounts, uncashed insurance policies, unclaimed utility deposits, uncashed checks, and forgotten stocks and bonds.

"That money is used by the state until we find it, but it's always here, and it's in trust. And so we have to give that money back when we find someone," said Loftis of what happens while the the money stayed unclaimed.

As for Brantley, while he's busy raking in the cash for friends and loved ones, he says everyone doesn't believe what sounds to good to be true, but he's got advice for those willing to try.

"Check these common misspellings, you may find something, check a maiden name or whatever," he said.

And though the amount he took home paled in comparison to his relatives, he's just glad to be of help.

"I got a good steak dinner. That's payback enough," said Brantley.

When you go to the website and search your name, if you do have money coming to you, it will tell you in some cases if it's more or less than $100.

Loftis says you will have to contact them to find out exactly how much you're owed.

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