CLEVELAND - The interest earned by unclaimed funds has been the center of debate for several years in a lawsuit involving the state of Ohio.
For seven years, the state has fought a class action lawsuit over interest that unclaimed funds earn. Now, the Ohio Attorney General says this lawsuit may be wrapped up soon, which could put more money back in your pocket.
"Everybody pays interest, so the state should not be exempt from that," consumer Kathy Tomaro said.
The state holds unclaimed funds from dormant checking and savings accounts, old rent and utility deposits, uncashed checks, and uncashed insurance policies.
The state of Ohio earns interest on the money, but when you claim the money, you don't get that interest.
An Ohio man thought it was wrong and filed a class action lawsuit in 2004. The state has been fighting that suit ever since. The Ohio Supreme Court even said consumers are owed this money, but that decision didn't end the court battle.
During our investigation last November, the Commerce Department didn't have much to say.
The Commerce Department is represented by the State Attorney General, which puts the AG in an unusual position since he also represents the interests of the consumer.
Almost a year into his term, Attorney General Mike DeWine is bringing a new opinion to the case.
"It's a case that we inherited. The law says we represent the state, and all state agencies. They are a client so we have to represent them in court. We certainly will do that in this case. But, the courts have made it clear that the game is over,” DeWine said.
It's a big development for consumers especially considering since the man defending the state is saying it.
“I hope it gets settled very soon,” DeWine added.
The AG says the courts have made it clear consumers have a right to this money, but how will the state find the money to pay?
The court estimated the payout at $74 million, and that was a few years ago.
"The state will simply have to find the money. The court tells you you have to do something, you gotta do it," DeWine said.
It's unclear when the case will be settled. DeWine only said "fairly soon."
Would you get a second payday? During our investigation last November, we obtained the list of people who may qualify for interest under this class action suit.
We created a searchable database [ follow this link on mobile: http://5.wews.com/5hA ] of claims $25 or greater dated Aug. 4, 2000 or later. If you collected money since last fall, your name may not appear int the database.
If you find your name within the search, it is important that the Division have your current address information. If you have moved since your claim for unclaimed funds was paid, please provide an updated address to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds. To do this, please mail any change of address to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 South High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus Ohio, 43215-6108. Include your full name, the name of the original owner of the unclaimed funds or the unclaimed funds claim number, former address, current address and daytime phone number. Please do not contact the court directly.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest News Headlines
If you think it's hard to outsmart a cockroach, you're right. Scientists have discovered how some of these bugs evolved to resist sweet-tasting poison baits.
More from Angie's List
Does your car need an oil change every 3,000 miles? It seems everyone has a different opinion – 3,000, 5,000, 7,000 or even 10,000 miles. In this Angie’s List report, how often depends on a variety of factors.
In this Angie’s List report, why dental care is important for your furry friend.