NBC Connecticut Responds helped a Stamford woman claim her refund from the state’s unclaimed property list after she struggled to get her money.
When Jennifer Peppe discovered a $138.99 refund on the state’s online unclaimed property list, she was ecstatic. But the Stamford resident said the process for getting her money was pretty disappointing.
“It’s not even that much. So, honestly the process has been so difficult,” said Peppe.
Peppe said she followed the state’s instructions to claim the money and mailed in the required paperwork to complete the process.
“They sent me a letter saying that it’s from this Bank Mobile Vibe,” said Peppe.
Peppe said she called the Bank Mobile Vibe and confirmed that it was her account and that she had a housing deposit refund from when she attended the University of Hartford.
But Peppe claimed neither she or her family had any knowledge of that bank account.
“I was never notified. I didn’t even know about this,” said Peppe.
A spokesperson with the University of Hartford explained that their records showed that Peppe set up her own account in February of 2012 and that it was closed after she graduated in May of 2014.
The university says a physical check of $138.99 would have been sent by BankMobile Vibe to the student for the refund.
Peppe doesn’t remember opening the account and said she never got the check, but she wanted the money. So she reached out to the state again and they told her it still wasn’t enough to release the check.
“The state of Connecticut needs the bank to write a letter that state’s that Jennifer Peppe is the payee of this check,” explained Peppe.
Peppe requested that letter but says the bank told her that they couldn’t provide it because it was beyond the bank’s 90 days policy to claim the money and because she didn’t have an account with them.
The bank also stated that they tried to reach Peppe through email. She says she didn’t get the message.
“I said if they did, I would’ve cashed that check,” said Peppe.
After several failed attempts to get a resolution, she turned to NBC Connecticut Responds.
“I watch NBC every day. So, I said I’m just going to write in to Sandra Jones,” said Peppe.
We reached out to both the State Treasurer’s office and Bank Mobile Vibe.
In a statement, the State Treasurer’s office told Responds:
“The office learned for the first time that a bank subsidiary, Bank Mobile Vibe, actually was the holder of the unclaimed assets turned over to the state. After multiple conversations with the bank explaining that its filings were incomplete, the state was told that Ms. Peppe is the payee.”
Bank Mobile said, “they are working directly with the customer and that the requested letter was sent to the state of Connecticut on November 5.”
After Responds intervened, Jennifer finally got her $138.99 refund check and she’s glad it finally worked out.
“Relieved and just happy. Very thankful for you guys,” said Peppe.
The State Treasurer’s Office said they have to rely on businesses to report unclaimed assets correctly.
Cashier’s checks are negotiable instruments and the rightful owner must present an original check or a letter from the business that remitted the information to our office.
The instructions for claiming unclaimed assets state: “If the property type includes a negotiable instrument such as, but not limited to, a cashier's check, money order, Treasurer's check or gift certificate / gift card, the original document must be submitted as proof of ownership.”