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State Controller Holds Opportunity for New Year’s Financial Resolutions for the Billions of Unclaimed Property

According to State Controller Malia Cohen, Californians are missing out on more than $11 billion in unclaimed property. (Source: NBC San Diego)

The state of California may assist individuals aiming to kickstart their New Year’s resolutions of saving more or paying off credit card debt by holding billions of dollars in unclaimed property, according to Cortlynn Stark’s report on December 22, 2023.

If you’re looking to get a head start on a New Year’s resolve to save more money or pay off your credit card, California can assist. This is due to the fact that the state controller’s office maintains billions of dollars in unclaimed property. (Yahoo! news)

California’s $11 Billion Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property encompasses financially inactive assets, ranging from bank accounts to estates, and excludes real estate in California. The state controller’s office disclosed an inventory of $11 billion in unclaimed property earlier this year, received annually from holders like banks, insurance companies, corporations, and businesses when there is no account activity for three years. Holders must attempt to contact owners before reporting to the state, sending notices to the last known address.

Individuals seeking their unclaimed property can use the state’s database without a time limit for claims. By entering their name or property ID number and potentially narrowing the search with address details, claimants can identify their property marked with a P, I, or N. A P indicates an available claim that can be processed electronically or by mail, while I or N signifies an unavailable claim, requiring further details. Individuals who believe their property is unlisted can contact the unclaimed property division.

Claiming the property incurs no fee, and heirs, trustees, or personal representatives can file claims for deceased owners. If names have changed, supporting documents like marriage certificates are necessary. Claims are reimbursed by check, with processing times of approximately 180 days or up to a year for securities. However, a potential interception by the Franchise Tax Board is feasible under state law, allowing the offset of payments from the state lottery, tax refunds, or unclaimed property for outstanding debts to governmental entities. Just so you know, recipients receiving an intercept notice are advised to contact the relevant agency for clarification or disputes.

READ ALSO: Does a Good Credit Score Matter When One Retires? 

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