TORRINGTON, Wyoming — Like most who are on Wyoming’s unclaimed property list, Bonnie Rice was shocked to find out she had money waiting for her.
According to the Wyoming State Treasurer’s office, the state has more than $90 million in unclaimed property belonging Wyoming residents, with more than $790,000 of it belonging to current and former Goshen County citizens.
Unclaimed property includes money, stocks, mutual funds and safety deposit boxes which are turned over when a business, agency or government entity isn’t able to locate the owner in a specified time period.
Bonnie Rice and her husband currently reside in Scottsbluff, but they used to live north of Torrington. Rice’s niece was browsing the unclaimed property list recently when she saw her aunt’s name.
“I had checked the list before, but I never did see I had anything,” Rice said.
She actually had two checks to claim, one for her totaling $466 and one for the family operation, Rice Livestock for the amount of $89.
Her niece told her to go online and check the list for herself, but an internet search led her to a company that offered a search for property on her behalf — for a price. After double checking with her niece, Rice told the company she wasn’t interested in their services.
“It could have been a negative thing if I didn’t have my niece’s help,” she said.
In order to assist residents who may have unclaimed property in Goshen County, representatives from the Unclaimed Property Division of the Wyoming State Treasurer’s Office will be in Torrington on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Goshen County Senior Friendship Center, 216 E. 19th Ave. The representatives will also be at the Goshen County Courthouse, 2125 E. A street, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
“We are visiting the area as part of an outreach mission to help citizens find and claim their lost money,” Jeff Robertson, administrator of Unclaimed Property for the State of Wyoming, said. “If you think you have money in your name or possibly money that belonged to a relative who has passed away, we encourage you to stop by and visit with one of our claims specialists.”
Those who can’t make it are encouraged to run their name through the state’s searchable database. It can be accessed at mycash.wyo.gov.
“Even if you have received unclaimed property in the past, more money is turned over every year,” Robertson said. “Because of this, the money being held by the state has continued to increase.”
To make a claim, owners need a valid form of identification. Additional documents may also be required depending on the type of property and complexity of the claim.