Do you have a bank account you’ve lost track of? How about uncashed cashier’s checks, certificates of deposit, or matured insurance policies? You might not know it, but you could be one of the approximately 13.1 million individuals and organizations whose unclaimed property is now in the State of California’s possession.
Through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, unclaimed property ends up with the State. Under this law, corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies annually report and deliver property to the Controller’s Office after there has been no customer contact for a period specified by law, usually three years. In addition to forgotten bank accounts and uncashed cashier’s checks, CDs or matured insurance policies, the most common types of Unclaimed Property are:
- Safe deposit box contents
- Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
- Uncashed money orders
- Terminated insurance policies
- Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.
California citizens, owners or heirs, can check with the State Controller’s Office for Unclaimed Property that may be reported by holders from around the nation. Simply search this Unclaimed Property Database. Check regularly; you might be surprised. Then you can file a claim without charge. Note: California Unclaimed Property Law does NOT include real estate property. If the information you provide results in a match, remember that many people have the same name, so the property listed may not necessarily be yours. Documentation submitted when a claim is made will help determine ownership.
To search for unclaimed property held by other states, start through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) website.