Business & Real Estate

Do you have money waiting? Online database of unclaimed safe deposit boxes expands.

Unclaimed property overseen by the California State Controller’s Office includes gold, jewelry, documents, baseball cards, famous peoples photographs, fine china and stock. The balance of unclaimed property will total an estimated $9 billion in June 2018, although only a fraction of unclaimed property is ever reunited with its rightful owners.
Unclaimed property overseen by the California State Controller’s Office includes gold, jewelry, documents, baseball cards, famous peoples photographs, fine china and stock. The balance of unclaimed property will total an estimated $9 billion in June 2018, although only a fraction of unclaimed property is ever reunited with its rightful owners. rbyer@sacbee.com

State Controller Betty Yee said Thursday that a new law has enabled her office to add tens of thousands of properties to her online database, enabling the office to identify and locate more owners of U.S. savings bonds and military awards held in safe deposit boxes.

The office said the controller currently is safeguarding the contents of more than 138,000 safe deposit boxes turned over to the state.

Previously, Yee’s office could only notify and publicize the name of a person reported as owning a safe deposit box. However, items in safe deposit boxes often have different names on them, such as U.S. savings bonds held in the names of children and grandchildren.

Under provisions in the new law, the controller now can notify potential owners of U.S. savings bonds or military awards in safe deposit boxes.

“Each day, my team is returning hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who had not known it was missing. Expanding the unclaimed property database provides greater opportunity for U.S. savings bonds and military awards to be returned to their rightful owners,” Yee said in a statement.

The controller’s office said it currently is safeguarding more than 75,000 U.S. savings bonds with an estimated value of more than $31.6 million.

Potential owners can search for unclaimed property at claimit.ca.gov or by calling 800-992-4647.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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