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$6 Billion In Unclaimed Money Held By State, Available To Millions Of Residents

LOS ANGELES ( — California says millions of people have lost track of money they forgot to collect and are entitled to be reunited with it.

As much as $6 billion worth of unclaimed money and property now sits with the state, and people are able to see if some of their unclaimed money is included.

This is made possible through the state controller's website, where people can click on "search for unclaimed property," type in their name and city, and can see whether they are owed money.

Katie Valdes of Altadena invited friends over to give it a try for themselves.

"It's like finding money in your pocket when you're doing laundry, and you pull it out," Valdes said.

Valdes' friend Joanna was the first to give it a try, finding out that she's owed $4 by Sears, though she doesn't even remember what for.

However, when another friend, Janelle from La Crescenta, gave it a try, she discovered that she's owed $77. That money was an unclaimed deposit from Southern California Edison, which she knew nothing about.

There was also an unclaimed deposit in her husband's name.

Subsequent searches turned up unclaimed amounts of $300 and $500 — owed and available to people who had no conscious knowledge of the fact.

Carolyn, who discovered that she's owed hundreds of dollars, recalls the bank deactivating the account years ago.

"I thought they were going to send me the check, and they never did, so I just forgot about it," Carolyn said. "So, it looks like I had $500, plus $350, so $850."

There are over 17 million unclaimed property accounts in California, according to the Controller's Office. These include inactive bank accounts, overpayments made to businesses, terminated insurance policies, stocks, securities and utility deposits.

However, it's not just money that's owed.

Also included as unclaimed property is fine jewelry, precious heirlooms and memorabilia.

The California controller's website provides all information needed to either claim your funds online through them, or you can contact the company that is holding your money directly.

To find out more, you can reach the state controller's website by clicking here.

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