How to find unclaimed money

Have you checked recently to see if you were owed unclaimed money in California? Are there any valuables that you left in the bank years ago and forgot about? The California State Comptroller’s Office maintains a system for people to search for unclaimed property by name and protects billions of dollars worth of properties until the rightful owners can be found. “We’ve heard that up to one in three people who visit the website find unclaimed property,” said Jennifer Hanson of the state comptroller’s office. Watch the full report on KCRA 3 News at 11 p.m. Every year, companies send unclaimed property to the state, and items are added daily to the state’s searchable database as they are processed. “In the vast majority of those cases it’s sometimes a hundred or less, but in some cases it’s just a mortgage payment,” Hanson said. The Comptroller’s Office recommends people check the site at least once a year. It was able to reunite 535,342 properties with their owners in the 2020-21 financial year. “We raised over $330 million from its owners last year alone,” Hanson said. “It’s really frustrating,” added Ken Parham of the state comptroller’s office. “You know, there are things we have that are more important than valuables. There are family documents and very personal items that we want people to get back.” Here’s what to know about finding your unclaimed property and filing a claim. Why does the State of California have financial assets in my name? Financial institutions and other businesses are required by law to report annually and turn over “assets” to the Comptroller’s Office if there has been no activity on anyone’s or of contact with its owner for a period of time, which is usually about three years. Sometimes the account owner moves and forgets to leave a forwarding address for a company to send them a check for what’s owed to them. Other times, the person dies. What type of property is unclaimed? These are the most common types of unclaimed pr. operty, depending on the state. Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents Stocks, mutual funds, bonds and dividends Uncashed cashier’s checks and money orders Certificates of deposit Expired or terminated insurance policies Records Mining interests and royalty payments Trust funds and escrow accounts Deposits in utility accounts claimed does not deal with real estate. How much lost money are we talking about? About 64 million properties are worth around $11.2 billion, as of the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the comptroller’s office. The office welcomed approximately 5.7 million new properties valued at $1.3 billion in this year alone. Where can you search for your unclaimed property? Click here. The state provides an easy way to find out if you have property to claim. What happens before these assets are handed over to the state? Companies are required to first try to contact owners before transferring assets to the comptroller’s office. The comptroller’s office then sends its own notices to the owners, giving the owner more time to try and get their property back. Here is an example of what these letters look like. In the past fiscal year, the Monitor sent 1.5 million notification letters to owners of properties worth $50 or more. How do I claim unclaimed property? Can I make a claim for a deceased relative? Owners can search and claim their property for free but will need to verify their property. People can call 800-992-4647 with questions. People can also call the same number if they think the state has their property but they can’t see it listed on the website. Heirs, trustees and other executors can also file claims for deceased owners. Some businesses and individuals charge fees to search for unclaimed property and file claims on behalf of owners or heirs. These “investigators”, as they are officially called, cannot, by law, charge a fee greater than 10% of the value of the property being returned. | MORE LIKE THIS | Northern California counties also have millions of dollars in unclaimed money. See if someone belongs to you – Jason Marks of KCRA 3 contributed to this report.

Have you checked recently to see if you were owed unclaimed money in California? Are there any valuables that you left in the bank years ago and forgot about?

The California State Comptroller’s Office maintains a system for people to search for unclaimed property by name and protects billions of dollars worth of properties until the rightful owners can be found.

“We’ve heard that up to one in three people who visit the website find unclaimed property,” said Jennifer Hanson of the state comptroller’s office.

  • Watch the full report on KCRA 3 News at 11 p.m.

KCRA

Some items include cards left in safes.

Every year, companies send unclaimed property to the state, and items are added daily to the state’s searchable database as they are processed.

“In the vast majority of those cases it’s sometimes a hundred or less, but in some cases it’s just a mortgage payment,” Hanson said.

The Comptroller’s Office recommends people check the site at least once a year. It was able to reunite 535,342 properties with their owners in the 2020-21 financial year.

“We raised over $330 million from its owners last year alone,” Hanson said.

“It’s really frustrating,” added Ken Parham of the state comptroller’s office. “You know, there are things we have more important than valuables. There are family documents and very personal items that we want people to collect.

Here’s what to know about finding your unclaimed property and filing a claim.

Why does the State of California have financial assets in my name?

Financial institutions and other businesses are required by law to annually report and remit “assets” to the Comptroller’s Office if there has been no activity on someone’s account or contact with their owner for a period of time, which is usually around three years.

Sometimes the account owner moves and forgets to leave a forwarding address for a company to send them a check for what’s owed to them. Other times, the person dies.

What type of property is unclaimed?

These are the most common types of unclaimed property, depending on the state.

  • Bank accounts and safe contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds and dividends
  • Uncashed bank checks and money orders
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Expired or terminated insurance policies
  • Areas
  • Mining interests and royalties
  • Trust funds and escrow accounts
  • Utility account deposits

The Unclaimed Property Program does not deal with real estate.

Jewels that have been handed over to the State.

KCRA

Jewelry that has been refurbished.

How much lost money are we talking about?

About 64 million properties are worth around $11.2 billion, as of the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the comptroller’s office.

The office welcomed approximately 5.7 million new properties valued at $1.3 billion in this year alone.

Items left as is

Where can you search for your unclaimed property?

Click here. The state provides an easy way to find out if you have property to claim.

What happens before these assets are handed over to the state?

Companies are required to first try to contact owners before transferring assets to the comptroller’s office. The comptroller’s office then sends its own notices to the owners, giving the owner more time to try and get their property back. Here is an example of what these letters look like. In the past fiscal year, the Monitor sent 1.5 million notification letters to owners of properties worth $50 or more.

How do I claim unclaimed property? Can I make a claim for a deceased relative?

Owners can search and claim their property for free, but will need to verify their ownership. People can call 800-992-4647 with questions. People can also call the same number if they think the state has their property but they can’t see it listed on the website.

Heirs, trustees and other executors can also file claims for deceased owners.

Some businesses and individuals charge fees to search for unclaimed property and file claims on behalf of owners or heirs. These “investigators”, as they are officially called, cannot, by law, charge a fee greater than 10% of the value of the property being returned.

| MORE LIKE THIS | Northern California counties also have millions of dollars in unclaimed money. See if one belongs to you


-Jason Marks of KCRA 3 contributed to this report.

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