California is holding $9.3 billion in unclaimed property - could some be yours?

WASHINGTON, DC - Newly redesigned $100 notes lay in stacks at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on May 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Controller Betty Yee announced on Monday that the state government is holding more than 48 million unclaimed properties totaling $9.3 billion, and urged Californians to check an online database to see if they should submit a claim for long-lost money or valuables.

Businesses like banks and insurance companies are required by law to transfer property to the state controller's office if it goes unclaimed for a certain period of time, generally three years. Unclaimed property can include uncashed checks, wages, stocks, safe deposit boxes and insurance benefits,
among other things.

There is no time limit or fee for filing a claim. Properties valued above the eClaim threshold of $5,000, or those with complexities such as multiple heirs, can occasionally take a few months to process.

In October, the controller's office processed claims for about 56,000 people, totaling $32.6 million, including 250 claims valued at $87,806 for Torrance, CA residents.

"Some of the simpler online claims can be paid in as quickly as two weeks, perhaps even in time for your holiday shopping," Yee said.

Residents and business owners can search the database of unclaimed assets and submit a claim at the state's website,, or by calling (800) 992-4647.

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