State seeks to return $9 billion in unclaimed property

SAN DIEGO — Controller Betty Yee announced Monday that the state government is holding more than 48 million unclaimed properties totaling $9.3 billion, and urged California residents, including San Diego residents, 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. San Diego residents claimed 1,283 properties valued at $529,660 during that time.

“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, claimit.ca.gov, or by calling (800) 992-4647.

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