FILE - North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell

North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell

(The Center Square) – It is now easier for North Carolinians to recover unclaimed cash from the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 156 into law this week. It increases the time the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer can hold unclaimed property from three years to five years. It also increases the amount threshold for a claim to be expedited from $250 to $5,000.

“As the state-mandated custodian of $919 million of unclaimed property, our mission is to put that money back into the wallets and bank accounts of the rightful owners, especially now that so many people are still feeling the financial shock of the COVID-19 lockdowns,” North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell said in a statement.

The unclaimed money comes from uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance proceeds, stocks, bonds and other abandoned funds, according to the treasurer's office.

The office temporarily launched in October the NCCash Match program, which automatically issues checks for up to $250 for unclaimed funds through March 15. The treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division processed more than 20,000 claims over the six months, totaling more than $1.7 million, officials said. Cooper signed legislation March 11 to make the program permanent.

Folwell said the goal is to pay at least 100,000 claims a year through NCCash Match under the new law. The Unclaimed Property Division will issue the next round of checks May 5.

HB 156 was signed into law Tuesday after unanimous approval from the General Assembly.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.