Residents might have unclaimed funds

N ew York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today is urging New Yorkers to see if any of the $12.5 billion in lost and forgotten money currently being held by his office could be theirs.

More than 30 million accounts are unclaimed in New York, some dating back to the 1940s. An interactive map created by DiNapoli’s office shows the number of outstanding accounts and monetary values by county.

“Every New Yorker should visit our website to see if my office is holding any money in their name. It’s likely that some of the $12.5 billion in unclaimed funds belongs to you, a family member or friend,” said DiNapoli. “Fortunately, it is easier than ever to search for and claim lost money. Just a few minutes on our website is often all it takes to reclaim what is rightfully yours.”

A large portion of unclaimed funds derives from dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance accounts and stocks. The money is turned over by financial institutions and companies to DiNapoli’s office to manage after a period of dormancy, usually three years. Although the average claim paid is less than $100, the largest account currently being held by DiNapoli’s office for an individual is $1.7 million.

On average, DiNapoli’s office returns $1 million a day. In most cases, checks are sent to owners within 3-5 days after a claim is submitted. Some claims, such as those involving estates, may require more paperwork to claim.

New Yorkers can search for lost money for free by visiting the Office of Unclaimed Funds’ website or by calling the call center toll-free at 1-800-221-9311. More than 5,500 visitors access the website each day, and more than 500 callers contact the call center to search for lost money.

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