Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unclaimed Money

Virginia's State Bird
It is no secret that I do not like the Commonwealth of Virginia. Having lived here since I was 5 years old, with 4 years in Washington, DC for College, I have seen Virginia do some screwy things; to me, to my husband, to my children, to the a group and somewhere in Virginia the Commonwealth is trying to screw them. The weather, the history and her beauty are the only things in her favor.
A few months ago [October 2008] I found a site for "Unclaimed Money". Y'all know these sites - you type in a little information and they search the data base to see if you have money sitting at the state's Treasury in your name [or if you have minor children, their names.]
I was surprised to see that my son and my older daughter did have money. I filled out the appropriate forms and sent it off to the bowels of the Virginia Unclaimed Money Office. I received an email at the beginning of February - Virginia is expeditious, isnt' she?
Each of the kids have bonds that were left to them by their paternal Grandfather. A small sum, but it is theirs. The lady I spoke with [B.B.] emailed me the forms and told me when I filled them out to mail them in. 8-10 weeks processing. Fine, whatever.
A week later B.B. sends me another email stating she has found my name in the database and I am entitled to half of the funds and to please call her. I call. Leave a message. She calls back 10 days later.
I ask her exactly what/where is this money from. Turns out Dominion Power failed to return our security deposit on a townhome my first husband and I owned in 1990, which we sold in 1993. Okay? The total deposit was $163.00 - woohoo - $13.00 in interest for 19 years of sitting in their bank account. I digress.
Because here is where it became REALLY weird, but remember - this is Virginia.
B.B. said I was entitled to 1/2 of the deposit [$81.50] and my first husband is entitled to the other.
My first husband is deceased. [that doesn't get any easier to type] B.B. knows this because we had this discussion when we were talking about my children and their money earlier in the month.
I ask B.B. if it is okay if I send her his Virginia Issued Death Certificate to verify, y'know, he is not A.L.I.V.E. anymore? And then I can receive the entire deposit, right? We made it together, he isn't here anymore, so it would make sense that the deposit come to me - or at least half to me and half to the kids.
Well, yes, but NO.
B.B. tells me that they won't accept his Death Certificate issued by Virginia. They want his newspaper obituary instead.
HUH? I explain there wasn't one. [and there wasn't - not everyone has an obituary, right? He didn't. That is another post, but he didn't have one.]
I begin to argue that point that Virginia issued the Death Certificate and I even have our Virginia issued marriage license, but B.B. stands firm and says I have one other option....[at this point I was thinking what? Dig him up?]
My option, she explains, is his Funeral Program. Again, HUH? A funeral program? Something anyone can just generate, at home, on their computer and color printer? Has this woman/the state LOST their minds? I am sure I could lay my hands on a copy, but it isn't just sitting around, convenient as are his D.C. and our marriage license.
At this point I was pretty much in tears, not for a piddly $81.50 - but I do not like dealing with Sr. being gone and this is just on the other side of ridiculous.
I told her to forget it - I was fed up with the bureacracy and crap Virginia puts out everyday to her citizens and $163.00 isn't worth the hassle of dealing with this. I told her to donate the money [well MY half, at least] to the orphans.
Her response? "Only if you fill out these three forms and send me his obituary/Funeral program."


Coffeypot said...

I agree with you that the money isn't worth the red tap.

Do you know what they do with people who make C's and D's in school? They give them jobs in state government.

Do you know what they do with people who can't think for them selves or use common sense and MUST HAVE A BOOK OF RULES to follow? They give them jobs in state government.

Do you know what they do with people who prefer to spend more time on break and standing around the water cooler? Yep! They give them jobs in state government.

It is not just Virginia. It happens here, too.

Instead of Commonwealth of Virginia death certificate, why didn’t you ask her if you could just send her a letter signed by your neighbor stating to the fact? Or a picture of the tombstone? Idiots!

I would have at least ask to speak to BB’s supervisor.

Amy said...

You have got to be kidding...

SkippyMom said...

Thanks Coffey - I can always count on you to make me spit take at my screen. But you got it right....argh.

I like the neighbor idea tho' would probably work.

Greenmare said...

OMG. that is all I can think to say. that sounds like something out of a sit com, except- poor you- it isn't funny! heavens, that is just too much. I'm sorry for you having to deal with that, I really am.

Gail said...

How long does the money sit until they get to keep it?

Sounds like their plan to me!

Yvo Sin said...

Dude... are you kidding me? I have screamed at people before for asking stupid questions about the deceased... my dad did not have an obit (as far as I know tbh, I was pretty foggy the whole time). I have been asked for death certificates before and one time I lost it... and started yelling and crying and just. yeah... Anyway.
BTW, I always thought those "unclaimed money" sites were scams. I know for sure I bought a $50 US bond a long time ago and they gave me some ridiculous username so I lost the information a long time ago... I am wondering what happened to it. Sure it's "only" $50 but I wouldn't mind having it anyway.

RVVagabond said...

I would laugh if this weren't so sad. I happen to have pleasant memories of Virginia from our travels, but they were just that--temporary stays. We did work for 6 weeks at a campground in Topping, Va and met some of the nicest folks we have ever met. Didn't have to deal with bureaucrats, though....