9 Investigates

UNCLAIMED CASH: The state may be holding money with your name on it

Both Carolinas have unclaimed money sitting around, maybe with your name on it.

North Carolina has approximately $650 million. South Carolina has about $550 million.  So, between the two, there is more than $1 billion in unclaimed cash for the taking.

[NORTH CAROLINA: See if you have unclaimed money]

[SOUTH CAROLINA: See if you have unclaimed money]

There's no timeframe people must claim by, and if the person is dead, his or her heirs get the cash. That happens a fair amount and it can be a life-changing shock.

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke asked N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell how there could be so many people with so much money and not know about it.

"It's actually fairly easy, especially if it relates to a grandparent or somebody who put money aside for you in a bank account that you never knew of and it had $30 in it or $50 and, you know, checks got lost in the mail,” Folwell said.

"Nobody believes us. Nobody thinks we have any money of theirs. I've been hung up on, sometimes three or four times, where I’m calling someone to try to reunite them with $700,000, $800,000," S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis said, who happens to be the current president of the National Unclaimed Money Association.

Stoogenke asked both state treasurers' offices for lists of everyone in the Charlotte viewing area who has unclaimed money. Mecklenburg County alone has 841 pages of names and dollar figures.

Bertha Dancy was on the list. She had $14,000 in unclaimed money. Two insurance companies owed her money.

Stoogenke went to tell her about it.  No one answered her door.  So Stoogenke asked neighbors for help.

One told Stoogenke that Dancy didn't live there anymore, but that another neighbor had her son's number. That neighbor called her son and put him on speakerphone so Stoogenke could talk to the man.

Her son recognized Stoogenke's voice and so did a co-worker, Michelle Repeta, who jumped on the line.  But they thought maybe it was a scam.

"We watch you so much and you do bring out the scams," Repeta said.

"I can come to you in person now and show this to you if you want,” Stoogenke replied.

Twenty minutes later, Stoogenke met Dancy’s son, Merv.

Merv Dancy said his mother had Alzheimer's and dementia and she's really had a hard time.

“She was a wanderer. She would get out of the house and we would find her in certain places and police having to pick her up,” Merv Dancy said.

He moved her into a nursing home, which is pricey, but the $14,000 will help.

"Heaven only knows this will come in handy to keep her safe and where she is," Merv Dancy said.

"I am so happy for him and his mama.  I tell you that is the best news anybody can get," Repeta said.

Comments on this article