FILE - Virginia State Capitol

The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia had another record-breaking year for returning unclaimed property to residents. A total of $87.1 million was paid out in Fiscal Year 2019.

“Every year, millions of dollars in assets are turned over to the Treasury Department as unclaimed property and this free service is designed to return money that is owed to Virginians,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a news release. “I encourage any individual who has lived or worked in our Commonwealth to go online and check whether there are any lost or abandoned items in their name.”

Unclaimed property is an asset that is claimed dormant because of inactivity and can include utility deposits, customer refunds, unpaid wages, money from insurance policies, securities and investments, bank accounts and tangible property, according to the news release.

Nearly $850 million has been returned to Virginians since the program started in 1961. FY 2019 had a 9.5 percent increase from FY 2018, which had previously broken the state’s record with $79 million. The 2019 payments went to 129,900 asset accounts.

“Our mission is to protect the property interests of citizens and return these assets to the rightful owner,” Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne said in a news release. “Our program is a central ‘lost and found’ and every citizen should check our free search site at least once a year.”

Any person who has held a job in Virginia or an address in Virginia can check to see whether they are owed money for free at www.vaMoneySearch.org.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.