BATON ROUGE, LA The Louisiana Department of the Treasury returned $287,000 in unclaimed money to New Orleans area residents at an Unclaimed Property Awareness Day at Clearview Mall this past Saturday, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

This was, by far, the largest unclaimed property event weve ever had, said Treasurer Kennedy. We estimate there were thousands of people in attendance over a six-hour period. The average unclaimed property claim is usually around $200 to $400, but we had one individual claim $30,000.

Unclaimed property is money in the normal course of business that goes unclaimed after a certain period of time. It includes savings and checking accounts, uncashed payroll checks, certificates of deposit, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments, utility deposits and other funds. When a business cannot locate an individual the unclaimed property belongs to, usually because of a wrong address, the money is turned over to the state for safekeeping.

Over the past 10 years, Treasurys Unclaimed Property Division has returned more than $125 million to 200,000 Louisiana residents. There is still $362 million in unclaimed money that needs to be claimed by residents statewide.

New Orleans area residents who filed claims for unclaimed money at Clearview Mall can expect their checks to arrive in the mail within two to three weeks, said Treasurer Kennedy. There are more than 995,000 names on our unclaimed property website at www.latreasury.com, so even if you werent able to attend Saturdays event, you can still search for missing money.

Louisiana residents can also search for unclaimed property by calling the Treasurys toll-free hotline at 1-888-925-4127 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).