Private Corporations Are Not The Only Ones With Unclaimed Property: St. Louis Court Sitting on $7.6 Million
The fact that corporations, financial institutions, and the like often have unclaimed property that ultimately gets reported and remitted to state governments is (relatively) well known. But it is not only private entities that have this issue. If an entity has a significant amount of payment streams coming in and going out, it stands to reason that at least some percentage of those payments will be misplaced, uncashed, or otherwise not disposed of.
By way of example, the St, Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the St. Louis Circuit Court has more than $7.6 million in refunds, credits and other unreconciled payments. According to the article, these funds have built up over more than 10 years, and consist of, among other things, bail deposits, court fees, and other payments that were supposed to be returned to citizens. The article explains that the court is looking to retain a private contractor to sort through the applicable records, and determine what payments are to be made.
Of course, one wonders why these amounts were allowed to accumulate over more than a decade. According to the Missouri Unclaimed Property Act, property “held by any court” appears to be subject to the unclaimed property act if the property has not been claimed by the rightful owner after three years. Just like unclaimed property accumulates for private and public entities alike, most state unclaimed property laws do not distinguish (or equally apply) to both types of entities