ALBION — Hundreds of people have money waiting for them in uncollected trust funds in the Noble County Clerk’s office, money that is free to claim, if it’s yours.

It’s also a general reminder that residents may have other unclaimed money out there, and that checking for it is as easy as visiting a website.

Noble County Clerk Shelley Mawhorter said her office was recently contacted by a firm seeking a list of active trust funds in the county. Those funds where money that comes in via any type of court action are stored.

But what happens sometimes is that money — whether it’s something like a released bond, a judgment, a restitution amount, etc. — can’t be connected with its rightful owner.

“We have all these people who are sitting in our trust funds because they had money and maybe they moved,” Mawhorter said. “We have to put it in our trust funds under their name, so it sits there until someone comes forward.”

Mawhorter’s concern was that some company was interested in the list to try to sell people a service, that they’ll help you claim your money — for a fee. Claiming it for yourself, however, is free and pretty easy.

“Somebody is going to call you and say ‘We can help you get that money for a percentage of your funds.’ I’m going to give you that money for free,” Mawhorter said. “We have rules about how you’re going to get it but it isn’t going to cost you anything.”

How many people have money out there they don’t know about? More than 500, Mawhorter estimated. She doesn’t know an exact total, but accounts can have anywhere from $100 or so to potentially thousands.

Anyone who thinks they might have money waiting for them could contact the Noble County Clerk’s Office, but an easier way to check for local trust fund balances and more is to visit indianaunclaimed.gov.

Indiana Unclaimed, a service of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, compiles records of any unclaimed money addressed to residents in Indiana. You must search via at least a last name, but can include other information to help potentially narrow the results if you have a common last name,

Since the clerk’s office has to report its unclaimed trust funds to Indiana Unclaimed, any money sitting in Albion would show up there, too, Mawhorter said.

Claiming money via Indiana Unclaimed will require you to provide some documentation establishing your identity and claims are typically processed within 90 days.

According to the attorney general’s office, the Fort Wayne region — which includes Noble, DeKalb, Steuben and seven other counties, not including LaGrange County — had about 449,000 unclaimed properties totaling approximately $26.4 million.

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