Man awaiting unclaimed funds frustrated by stalled request

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- You may or may not be aware of the "Unclaimed Property" lookup within the Michigan Department of Treasury's website. Gregg Stavros is more than familiar with it after a relative found his name listed alongside an unclaimed $1,333.32.

That's a big chunk of money to find out you may be entitled to out of the blue. However, Stavros has had to jump through some hoops to try and recoup it.

"A simple request shouldn't take a year," Stavros said.

In fall 2016, he said he learned of the money that's tied to an auto accident he was in several years ago. Keller Ford is also listed on the claim as a potential recipient of the funds.

"And [the state] said in order to get it, all I need was a brief statement from Keller Ford stating no funds were due to them as a result of repair work done at their location, which I thought would be an easy task," Stavros stated.

After the accident, he said he had taken his damaged vehicle to Keller Ford for a quote several years ago. However, no work was done by the dealer. The state just needed to make sure the dealership wasn't due any of the unclaimed insurance money. Stavros contacted the auto dealer to request a letter.

"[I] stopped in, talked to the controller, and he said he couldn't find any record of any repair work being done or funds owed them, but he needed another week or two to confirm that. So I just be in a couple weeks, and he said we're going to table it for the time," Stavros recalled.

After a month, Stavros said he contacted the owner with the same request.

"I just needed him to confirm that in a brief statement for the state, and he said he was going to table it," he said.

Stavros said he reached out again in spring of this year and lawyered up after getting no response.

"And he thought again too, that it would be an easy task," Stavros said of his attorney.

"Well, he's been given the runaround just like they've been giving me the runaround the past year," he said.

So after a year, Stavros reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers.

"With your help, you've done it for others in the community. I thought that might prompt them to do the right thing which is long overdue," he said.

So the Problem Solvers called the dealership. An employee in the body shop and the owner himself, Rob Keller, explained there's no service record for Stavros' vehicle because so much time has passed. He said the dealership wanted to satisfy the customer but first needed to make sure the business was in compliance before signing off on anything. Keller said his dealership double-checked with their trade organization and attorney to make sure it was OK to write a letter. Now, Stavros will finally be getting the letter he needs.

"Your help paid off right away," Stavros said.

He added, "Having to wait a year was unnecessary, but I'm just happy to finally move past this and focus on other things and much appreciate the help of FOX 17."

Once Stavros gets that letter, he said he'll submit the information to the state treasury department and hopes to receive the $1,333.32. He said some of that money will have to go to his attorney. We'll keep you posted on the progress.

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