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Great Colorado Payback plagued with problems, state auditor says

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 18:28:54-04

DENVER – The Great Colorado Payback, which seeks to reunite Coloradans with their forgotten property, isn’t working the way it should, according a report released Monday by the state Auditor’s Office.

Key findings from the 60-page report:

· Nearly half the claims the auditor tested weren’t acted upon within the 90 days required by the Unclaimed Property Act.
· The division hasn’t mailed notifications to about 1.6 million people about their unclaimed property since March 2005 even though that’s also required by law.
· The auditor’s office determined that 91% of the unclaimed property records it received were duplicate, incomplete, inaccurate or questionable.
· Treasury accounting staff recorded claims and interest distributions incorrectly, and haven’t determined the amount of the error or made any necessary adjustments.

The Great Colorado Payback started in 1987 as a way to tell Coloradans about all the unclaimed property the state is legally required to keep, such as forgotten bank account balances, deposits to utility companies and even unused gift cards. Most people didn’t know the state held onto all this stuff until the treasurer’s office starting running television ads in the early 2000s and the number of annual claims tripled. The backlog of unprocessed claims grew to more than 12,000 — almost as many as the division receives in a calendar year.

“We agreed with all the recommendations in the report,” said Dave Young, the Democratic treasurer who took office in January. “We have been moving rapidly to change the course of the work in the office.”

Read the full story in The Denver Post.