Treasurer Folwell Tours Homeless Shelter Where He Returned Missing Money
Donations are down, and payroll is up, but The Haven of Transylvania County got some good financial news when State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, arrived on Sunday, Dec. 11, to return missing funds to the homeless agency.
The nonprofit operates two homeless shelters in the county seat. The Haven Thomas House is an 18-bed overnight shelter that provides temporary housing to men and women, serving those whose circumstances suddenly left them homeless or who have been chronically homeless for a long time. The Haven Family House is a four-bedroom facility for families unable to afford housing of their own.
“The Haven of Transylvania County is a community anchor that does a remarkable public service in helping the less fortunate. Staff and volunteers extend a helping hand and a lifeline to clients, whether it is referring them to community agencies for counseling, dental and medical treatment or helping them to find permanent housing. In turn, the community has embraced their work, with ladies' groups from local churches delivering food once a week as just one example,” Treasurer Folwell said. “I am pleased to be able to assist this network of neighbor helping neighbor, which shows the very best of North Carolina.”
The Department of State Treasurer’s (DST) Unclaimed Property Division (UPD), commonly called NCCash.com, is the repository for 17.7 million properties valued at $1.02 billion under DST’s custody awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties being safeguarded by DST. During a review of data in the system UPD staff identified $4,333.62 belonging to The Haven.
Ruth Falck, a member of The Haven Board of Directors who serves as its treasurer, was on hand to receive the money and provide Treasurer Folwell with a tour of the shelter on Sunday. But she said she was skeptical when first informed of the missing money, which came from a PayPal donation that got diverted. She checked into it and learned it was not too good to be true.
“That was a very nice surprise,” Falck said, because donations have dipped the past few years. Due to the COVID pandemic the organization had to switch from volunteer to full-time paid staff. “It has put a pinch on us. We’ve been struggling and the $4,000 will certainly help us a lot for operations.” The organization is in the midst of a fundraising appeal to expand both housing and office space.
UPD paid 178,857 claims amounting to more than $105 million during the 2022 fiscal year that ended June 30. Both numbers were historical records. The returns are on pace to set another record this fiscal year. Through Sept. 30, UPD has paid 45,262 claims totaling nearly $28.1 million from NCCash. Part of that total has been disbursed through the NCCash Match program, a no-hassle, expedited system that eliminated paperwork processing. As of Sept. 30, DST paid 25,058 Cash Match claims totaling nearly $8.4 million.
Under state law, UPD receives and safeguards funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST. The unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned.
There are 42,538 properties worth more than $4.5 million waiting to be claimed by the 47,596 rightful owners in Transylvania County.
Unclaimed property can result from a person or entity forgetting they are due money, or from a move of location and forgetting to provide a new address. It also could result from a typing error in a house number or zip code in an address, a name change, or data loss from a business converting its computer system. As society becomes more mobile and steadily moves to electronic transactions, the risk of having unclaimed property has increased.
More information, including how to find out if you are owed money, can be found at https://www.nccash.com/.