Does the state owe you money?

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Opinion section
Valley News - Opinion

We’re entering the holiday season, and many people could use a little extra cash. You might be interested to know that California is sitting on unclaimed properties valued at over $9 billion. Please visit www.claimit.ca.gov to see if any of that money belongs to you.

Why does California have so much unclaimed property? Under our unclaimed property law, businesses like banks and insurance companies are required to transfer property to the controller’s office if it goes unclaimed for a specified period of time, usually three years. Common types of unclaimed property are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages and the contents of safe deposit boxes. Funds are held for as long as it takes to reunite the property with its rightful owner, which explains why the pot keeps growing.

Checking to see if you have unclaimed funds is easy. Once you access the website, simply type in your name and see if you’re listed. If it looks like you have some funds coming to you, you can file a claim immediately if the value is less than $5,000. Higher amounts require you to mail a form, and it takes longer to process. Also, please remember that there is no charge to retrieve your property from the state controller – so watch out for scams that try to charge for this free service.

In February, 33,000 people received their unclaimed properties, valued at over $23 million. You could have been one of them. Don’t let the state keep funds that may legitimately belong to you – visit the controller’s website.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the controller’s unclaimed property division at (800) 992-4647.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.