The State acquires unclaimed property through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which requires “holders” such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the Controller’s Office after there has been no customer contact for three years. Often the owner forgets that the account exists, or moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.
The most common types of Unclaimed Property are: Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents. Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends. Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders. Certificates of deposit. Matured or terminated insurance policies. Estates. Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.
The Unclaimed Property law was enacted to prevent holders of Unclaimed Property from using your money and taking it into their business income. This law gives the State an opportunity to return your money and provides California citizens with a single source, the State Controller’s Office, to check for Unclaimed Property that may be reported by holders from around the nation. To find out if any of this money belongs to you, visit http://scoweb.sco.ca.gov/UCP/