California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office when there has been no activity for a period of time (generally three years). Common types of unclaimed property are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, and safe deposit box contents. Property does not include Real Estate. Controller Betty Yee safeguards this lost or forgotten property as long as it takes to reunite it with the rightful owners; there is no deadline for claiming it once it is transferred over to the State Controller’s Office. It is easy to find out if the Controller is protecting property in your name.
- Notice and Proposed Amendment to Regulations for Unclaimed Property Claims Filing Procedures
- Notice and Proposed Amendment to Regulations for Third Party Auditors
Claiming Your Property
Did you receive a letter that looks like this? The Controller’s team mails these annual notices in an effort to connect owners with their property before it is sent to the state government for safekeeping.
If you did not contact the business by the deadline listed, the property will simply be transferred to the State Controller’s Office and then you can claim it here. There is no time limit for claiming your property from the state.
To electronically claim property, an owner must complete a secure form online (including name, social security number, birthdate, and address). Some more complicated claims may require additional proof of ownership.
- Video: How to Search for Property
- Video: How to Use eClaim
- Video: Claimant Account Registration
- Video: Claim Status Check
- The State Controller’s Office has received inquiries from the public reporting the receipt of generic postcards prompting individuals to call a toll-free number regarding an unclaimed property notification. The State Controller’s Office is not connected with the mailing of these postcards and cautions the public from calling a number from an unknown source. Start your search for property here.
- Some people have reported receiving official-looking emails or letters with instructions to contact a private attorney or pay upfront fees for help with recovering lost property for them or a family member. You have the right to obtain your unclaimed property without fees or lawyers by working directly with the State Controller’s Office staff. Start your search for property here.
- It is a violation of California law for people or companies to falsely identify themselves as representing a government official. If you receive a suspicious solicitation from a non-governmental source, the Controller recommends that you do not share personal information with the sender. Instead forward the solicitation to the State Controller's Office at EOInquiry@sco.ca.gov so the Controller's legal team can pursue appropriate action.
- Consumer Information
- Unclaimed Criminal Restitution