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More People Claiming More Unclaimed Property from State

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s top accountant and numbers-cruncher says an unusual spike in the number of people collecting unclaimed properties has created an estimated $18 million deficit in the state budget.

Comptroller Nancy Wynan said Wednesday that Connecticut typically pays out between $25 million and $30 million a year in unclaimed-property refunds. But the figure rose to more than $25 million in the first five months of the fiscal year ending in June, 2011.

(Click here to visit the state’s unclaimed property page.)

Officials say a poor economy and efforts to promote the program over the past couple of years may have contributed to the spike.

The unclaimed properties can include stocks and bonds, uncashed checks, unclaimed dividends, wages, refunds, utility deposits and valuables in safety deposit boxes whose owner forgets about it, moves without a forwarding address, or dies without informing heirs of the property.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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