BUCKSPORT — Sarah Moore heard the state treasurer was bringing his Palmetto Payback Hometown Tour to Bucksport on Monday so she went to see if she had any unclaimed money.
“I thought there might be some in my name, but there wasn’t. So they said to call out names of [friends and family],” she said.
When the Bucksport resident gave the name of a long-time friend she said she couldn’t believe the amount of unclaimed money the state had waiting for the woman: $24,000.
“She’s in need just like I am. I just spoke with her Saturday about things that are going on. She sure can use this,” Moore said.
She called her friend, whose name she said she preferred not to give, from the Word is Life Christian Fellowship Church parking lot to let her know.
“We have something here [in Bucksport] for unclaimed money. They said we could call any name we wanted and I gave them your name,” Moore said to her friend on speakerphone. “You used to live in Georgetown, right? Well they’ve got 24 grand for you.”
“Say what?” the friend replied, her voice coming through on the speakerphone.
Moore and a representative from the S.C. Office of the State Treasurer explained it to the friend.
“Oh, Lord! I sure can use it,” she said.
The Bucksport gathering was one of two such meetings Monday on the Grand Strand with the state treasurer’s office, which has has held about eight payback events around the state in the past year or so to ensure that people get their unclaimed money, said spokesman Brian DeRoy.
After a certain amount of time, any money that is unclaimed – whether it be a utility security deposit that wasn’t able to be returned or a check that’s never cashed – is turned over to the state. The state is then tasked with providing a database to the public of unclaimed property as well as tracking down the people to get their money to them.
“South Carolina’s not a wealthy state,” said State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis Jr. “These are working people; they’re not the country club set. They can use the money.”
The state has more than $300 million in unclaimed funds and Loftis said it’s his goal to get the money back to the state’s residents.
“It’s a lot of money. I’m obsessed with getting our money back to the people,” he said.
Loftis said he compiled a list of people who have at least $100,000 and came up with 12 pages of names. He carries it around in his briefcase.
“I’m going to Google them and find them myself. I can’t wait to make that first call,” he said.
He said about 100 people stopped by the church in Bucksport to see if they had any money out there. The tour also stopped in Georgetown on Monday afternoon.
The Rev. Clifford McClandon, who serves as pastor at Word is Life, said since he opened it up to the community he figured he’d put his name in the system and see what happens.
“They said I have some insurance money … but the amount is pending,” he said. “Whatever it is, it’ll be on time. I’ll buy a vanilla ice cream cone.”
Moore said she was happy that her friend of “30-some years” was going to come into so much money.
“It’s a blessing from God, because she really needs it,” she said.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.