By Senator Patty Ritchie
New York State may owe you money.
Right now, the state is holding onto more than $11 billion in unclaimed funds from abandoned bank accounts, forgotten utility deposits and mislaid stock and bonds.
At last count, the state Comptroller held more than 26 million of these accounts that awaiting claim by their rightful owners.
By law, companies are required to turn over “abandoned” or “unclaimed” funds are required to be turned over to New York and every other state until their true owner can be found.
Most of the accounts total less than $100, but, in 2008, one New Yorker found a windfall of more than $4 million from a forgotten stock account.
Right now, the state is holding onto $1.7 million for one individual.
You should never pay a fee to find if a state is holding money for you. A simple online search is all you need to start the process. Or, if you don’t use a computer, call the Comptroller’s office, and they will do it for you.
Visit this website to find links to a state where you have lived, and which could be holding your funds: www.unclaimed.org.
If you want to limit your search to New York State, visit www.osc.ny.gov. (Then click the link that says, “Search for lost money.”)
Or call (800) 221-9311, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.