California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office when there has been no activity for a period of time (generally three years). Common types of unclaimed property are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, and safe deposit box contents. Property does not include Real Estate. Controller Betty Yee safeguards this lost or forgotten property as long as it takes to reunite it with the rightful owners; there is no deadline for claiming it once it is transferred over to the State Controller’s Office. It is easy to find out if the Controller is protecting property in your name.
Claiming Your Property
Did you receive an unclaimed property notice like this? The Controller’s team sends out notices annually in an effort to connect rightful owners with their property before it is sent to the state for safekeeping. If you were unable to contact the related business by the deadline in the notice, you can claim the property here once it is transferred to the State Controller’s Office. There is no time limit to claim your property.
The State Controller can accept electronically submitted claims for many properties under $5,000. This efficient online feature allows your claim to be processed quicker than traditional paper claims. To find out if you have property that is eligible for electronic claim (eClaim), start your search here. If a paper claim is needed, you will see instructions on how to complete the required documents.
The State Controller’s Office has received inquiries from the public reporting the receipt of generic postcards prompting individuals to call a toll-free number regarding an unclaimed property notification. The State Controller’s Office is not connected with the mailing of these postcards and cautions the public from calling a number from an unknown source. Start your search for property here.
Some people have reported receiving official-looking emails or letters with instructions to contact a private attorney or pay upfront fees for help with recovering lost property for them or a family member. You have the right to obtain your unclaimed property without fees or lawyers by working directly with the State Controller’s Office staff. Start your search for property here.
It is a violation of California law for people or companies to falsely identify themselves as representing a government official. If you receive a suspicious solicitation from a non-governmental source, the Controller recommends that you do not share personal information with the sender. Instead forward the solicitation to the State Controller’s Office at EOInquiry@sco.ca.gov so the Controller’s legal team can pursue appropriate action.