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California State Controller John Chiang offers a tutorial to help the public use eClaim to receive unclaimed property.

State returns $1.1 million in “lost” money

Published: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 8:58 pm

Thanks to a new online tool, California’s unclaimed property program announced Monday it has reunited nearly 15,000 individuals with roughly $1.1 million in payments in less than a month. The e-claim tool was introduced by state Controller John Chiang’s office on January 24 as a way to avoid the traditional paper, “snail-mail” system of claiming lost funds.It promises to issue payments to consumers within 14 days.

The e-claim program is limited to single-owner accounts valued less than $500, such as uncashed paychecks, utility refunds, account balances. It does not include lost cashier’s checks, stocks and mutual funds or the contents of safe deposit boxes. For details, call (800) 992-4647 or go online:

Since the program started last month, the average amount repaid is $75. “Although they’re small amounts, we’re saving people the headache of filling out paper forms and waiting for a check in the mail,” said controller’s spokesman Garin Casaleggio.

The state’s unclaimed property program is holding $6.9 billion in unclaimed property and financial accounts belonging to an estimated 24.9 million individuals. Under state law, banks and other businesses holding consumer accounts must turn them over to the state controller’s office when there’s been no activity for three years.

Call The Bee’s Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

Read more articles by Claudia Buck

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