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I received a letter a few days ago from a company that claims I was owed some money that I had better claim or the state of California would take the funds. For a fee, the company would retrieve my claim for me.

This got me to thinking that I could do the same and I went to the State of California website at: only to find out that there were two claims for money (probably from interest after I moved from Los Angeles).  Websites like this are located in every state. I checked some years ago but found that nothing was reported against my name until now.

I would recommend that all of you check every state that you have investments that may have been closed out but have ultimately left money for you that went unclaimed. In my case it was not a great amount but well worth the effort to obtain. The effort includes printing out the forms and an acknowledgment form from the Internet. The acknowledgement must be completed with personal information and then notarized and submitted to the State’s Comptrollers Office.

I assume that the social security number is checked against the information provided when the money was turned over to the state and reimbursement should be forthcoming.


Give it a try – do a Google search entering “Unclaimed Property” +your_state. Fill in your state name and you will get responses from Google. Seek out the State Comptrollers website and on their homepage you should be able to find a link to unclaimed properties. Follow the instructions to see if the state owes you any money. Use this tool for all family members to find out who is owed what (if there is anything) and don’t forget to include other states you’ve lived in and paid taxes in.


Don’t pay someone else for what you can do on your own – Another tip; if you have a AAA (Automobile Association) account you may be able to get the notary for free. It’s a matter of taking the time to fill in the forms and mail them. Always save a copy for yourself to follow-up on your claim.


Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant



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