Controller Yee Celebrates National Unclaimed Property Day
SACRAMENTO—State Controller Betty T. Yee today is thrilled to celebrate the first-ever National Unclaimed Property Day, a prime opportunity to remind Californians that her team is safeguarding forgotten funds until they can be reunited with their rightful owners.
“We watch over all sorts of properties you might not know exist, from a rebate that was returned to sender after a move, to bonds your grandmother bought in your name. It is so worthwhile to take a few minutes to search and discover whether you have funds coming your way,” said Controller Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer. “For smaller claims with clear proof of ownership, you can file online and often have a check within weeks.”
California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) when there has been no activity for a certain period of time – generally three years.
Controller Yee’s team is safeguarding more than $10.2 billion in lost or forgotten properties such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, and safe deposit box contents. In Fiscal Year 2019-20, SCO reunited owners with $258 million in unclaimed property – an average of more than $700,000 per day!
SCO recommends people search for property by their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit organization with which they are affiliated. Heirs can search for accounts left behind by parents, grandparents, and other predecessors. You can even run a search to let friends and family know they have funds to claim.
Properties in the care of SCO can be found at claimit.ca.gov. For questions or assistance with filing a claim, contact the SCO Unclaimed Property Division at (800) 992-4647.
According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), which is hosting this campaign to raise public awareness about an important consumer protection program, one in every 10 people nationwide has forgotten properties waiting to be claimed. People who have lived or held accounts outside of California should visit the NAUPA site to search for additional unclaimed properties.
As the chief fiscal officer of California, Controller Yee is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources. The Controller has independent auditing authority over government agencies that spend state funds. She is a member of numerous financing authorities, and fiscal and financial oversight entities including the Franchise Tax Board. She also serves on the boards for the nation’s two largest public pension funds. Elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018, Controller Yee is the tenth woman elected to a statewide office in California’s history. Follow the Controller on Twitter at @CAController and on Facebook at California State Controller’s Office.