California's Unclaimed Money Funds Still Increasing

Published: 21st October 2010
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The unclaimed money fund in California is going through the roof with almost 12 million people still losing out on their unclaimed funds. This pile continues to grow at an alarming rate, in spite of many initiatives being taken by the state treasury.

As one of the proactive steps towards these issues, the state of California has enacted Unclaimed Property Law that requires property holders such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to submit an annual report and return dormant property to the State Controllerís Office. As of the last estimate, about $600 million are collected by the California state unclaimed funds division annually.

With one of the largest collections in the country, California receives almost $300 million every month, which translates to almost $5 billion annually in terms of abandoned funds or properties. Every unclaimed penny received is diverted to the Statesí General Fund. The interest that is accrued from these unclaimed funds is utilized for various development projects inside the state.

California attracts a majority of the workers from neighboring states and also the foreign workers because of its excellent climate and very open-door policies. The volume of foreign workers is also increasing every month in California leading to more migrations and account abandonment. The increasing volume of retirees is also one of the most influential factors as far as the unclaimed money pile is concerned. It is no wonder that California is home to one of the largest volume of unaccounted and missing money and property.

Dormant bank accounts, unclaimed tax refunds, uncashed employment and tax benefits, and other abandoned financial accounts are a result of an extremely mobile workforce. The upward trend in the increasing graph of Californiaís unclaimed funds continues to go up in spite of the many aggressive claim programs being initiated by the state treasury. This trend is continuing unabated with no government mechanism to track the unclaimed funds of both domestic, foreign and immigrant workers. So, while the economy of California is booming, the pile of unclaimed funds is also swelling in the State treasury.

One of the affiliates of NBC news recently published a report in San Diego about a North Park woman was able to claim $200,000 of California unclaimed money. "It was shares of stock," said Deborah Brueggeman, that she had apparently inherited them from an uncle who was now deceased. News regarding the unclaimed funds in California was about the Oprah Winfrey show. In one of her episodes related to the unclaimed funds, Oprah managed to unite $70,000 with the rightful owners in the audience.

By a concerted effort of all the state machineries, the Unclaimed Property Law of California is a robust law which provides sufficient level of guidance and direction for the claimants of unclaimed properties. The focus of these laws and regulations is to provide a very simple process to the residents who are in search of their lost property. The database of unclaimed property owners is updated regularly. Property owners can also utilize some of the most reliable private databases of unclaimed fund owners in the state of California.

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