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South Carolina Unclaimed Money
What is Unclaimed Money in South Carolina?
According to South Carolina statute 37-13-20, unclaimed money is defined as "any money or other property that has been abandoned or unclaimed by its rightful owner for a period of at least one year". This includes, but is not limited to, things like uncashed paychecks, forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
The South Carolina Unclaimed Property Act outlines the procedures for how unclaimed money is to be reported and turned over to the state. Under the act, businesses are required to attempt to contact the rightful owner of the property before turning it over to the state. If the owner cannot be located, or if they do not claim the property within a certain period of time, the business must then turn over the unclaimed money to the state.
The South Carolina Treasurer's Office is responsible for holding onto and safekeeping all unclaimed money turned over to the state. They maintain a publicly accessible database of all unclaimed property, which can be searched by anyone who believes they may have unclaimed money owed to them.
Escheatment refers to the process by which unclaimed money is turned over to the state. In South Carolina, the escheatment process is governed by statute 37-13-60. This statute outlines how businesses must report and turn over unclaimed property to the state, as well as how the state must maintain records of all unclaimed money.
How to Find Unclaimed Money in South Carolina
Interested members of the public may find South Carolina unclaimed money by visiting the official website of the South Carolina State Treasurer. The website includes a searchable database where users may enter their name or the name of a business to see if any unclaimed money is owed to them. If there is a match, users will be instructed on how to claim their money.
Users can also call the Office of Unclaimed Property at (803) 737-4771 to inquire about any unclaimed money that may be owed to them. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.
In addition, the South Carolina State Treasurer’s Office publishes an annual report listing all individuals and businesses who are owed unclaimed property. This report is available online and in print form. Copies of the report may also be obtained by calling the office or by visiting in person at:
Wade Hampton Building,
1200 Senate Street - Suite 214,
Columbia, SC 29201, United States
How Do I Find South Carolina Unclaimed Money for Free?
The South Carolina Unclaimed Money Database is free to use. Claimants are only required to provide the information needed to facilitate their query, including their last or business name, their first name and the city (where the property holder is/was resident). Alternatively, South Carolina state residents can also access unclaimed money through federal agencies and databases including:
- HUD/FHA Mortgage Insurance Refunds
- Bankruptcy Courts (South Carolina)
- The National Association of Unclaimed Money Administrators
How to Claim Unclaimed Money in South Carolina
Subsequent to finding an unclaimed property on the South Carolina Unclaimed Property database, requestors may proceed to file a claim with the office of the state treasurer. To to so, the claimant will be required to specify their relationship with the owner (that is, if they are not the direct owner of the unclaimed property). The claimant will also be required to provide their personal information, SSN/Tax ID and their current address. They will also be required to provide supporting documents including their photo ID, proof of address and proof of SSN.
The supporting documents may be uploaded via the provided secure link, or it may be sent via mail to:
South Carolina State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Program
1200 Senate Street, Suite 214
Wade Hampton Building
Columbia, SC 29201
How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in South Carolina?
The length of time it takes to receive unclaimed money in South Carolina depends on the type of property and the way it is being claimed. In most cases, claimants will receive their property within six to eight weeks of making a claim. However, some claims may take longer to process if they are more complicated. The type of property being claimed may also affect how long it takes to receive a payment.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in South Carolina?
The following persons are eligible to claim unclaimed property:
- The heir, executor, administrator, or other legal representative of the rightful owner; or
- A person with a court order or writ authorizing the person to claim the property on behalf of the rightful owner.
To claim unclaimed property, the claimant must submit a notarized claim form and supporting documentation to the South Carolina State Treasurer’s Office. The required documentation varies depending on the type of property being claimed, but may include a copy of the death certificate (since claiming on behalf of a deceased owner), a copy of the court order authorizing the claimant to act on behalf of the rightful owner, or other similar documentation.
Once the claim form and supporting documentation have been received, the South Carolina State Treasurer’s Office will review the claim and, if approved, issue a check for the value of the unclaimed property to the claimant. Claims typically take 4-6 weeks to process.
What Happens to South Carolina Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?
Under state law, unclaimed money must be turned over to the South Carolina Treasurer's Office after a the state’s designated dormancy period has elapsed. The money is then held in trust for the rightful owner or heir.
There is no statute of limitations on claiming unclaimed property or money, so even if it has been many years since the property was abandoned, claimants may still be entitled to claim it.