Does California Owe You Money? State’s Unclaimed Property Tops $10 Billion

You know that feeling when you stumble on a forgotten $20 dollar bill stuffed into an old winter jacket? Well, California’s State Controller’s Office is safeguarding more than $10.2 billion that’s just waiting to be retrieved by its rightful owners.

California state law requires that banks, insurance companies, corporations and other types of businesses submit any customer property that has gone untouched for a certain period of time – usually around three years. That includes things like bank accounts, stocks, bonds, insurance benefits and uncashed checks.

Last year, California’s Unclaimed Property Division reunited people with more than $258 million in unclaimed property.

“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,” Controller Betty Yee said in a statement. “For smaller claims with clear proof of ownership, you can file online and often have a check within weeks.”

The state recommends that people search for their property by using their “name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit organization with which they are affiliated.

If you think the state is holding onto money that may belong to you, you can find out at or by contacting the Unclaimed Property Division at (800) 992-4647.

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