Oklahoma State Treasurer Robert Butkin announced he is looking for more than 38,000 Oklahomans to give them $15.7 million. The money was delivered to Butkin’s office during the past few months from seven insurance companies that underwent a process called demutualization.
Butkin explained that demutualization is a process whereby policyholder-owned companies are converted to stockholder-owned corporations. When the companies can’t find the policyholders that were part owners, law enacted earlier this year requires that their cash and stock settlements be sent to the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division.
“We’ve listed the names of all 38,172 Oklahomans on our Web site—www.unclaimed.state.ok.us—and we’re ready to return the money,” Butkin said. “We are encouraging all Oklahomans to check our Web site to see if their names appear. If you don’t have access to the World Wide Web at home, most public libraries offer convenient web access at no charge.”
Butkin said the claims process should be easy for most of the people on the list. “Once you find your name on the Web site, you can start the claim online,” he said. “If you’ll then send us a copy of your claim form, driver’s license and social security verification in the mail, we can get started on sending you your money.”
Butkin said there is never a charge for claiming money from his office. “Our service is always free,” he said.
To prepare for an expected increase in claims, Butkin is hiring a crew to work a night shift. “We will get the night shift underway as soon as possible,” Butkin said. “Along with the seven staff members who work claims during the day, the six people we will hire will work evenings to help us keep on top of the claims.”
Butkin took over administration of the Unclaimed Property Division from the Tax Commission in 2000.
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