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Controller Seeks to Speed Returns at California’s Lost and Found

State Controller John Chiang

State Controller John Chiang

State Controller John Chiang introduced eClaim, a breakthrough online tool aimed at reuniting Californians with lost and forgotten money.

When the property is worth less than $500 and there is only one owner listed, this online innovation – found – may let the claimant bypass the “paper and snail-mail” process upon which the State has been dependent since the Unclaimed Property Program was first established in 1959. Instead, Californians can search for and claim their money completely online, and expect to be reunited with their assets within 14 days.

“After reforming one of the nation’s largest lost and found programs to put property owners first and returning record amounts of assets, I am pleased to announce this latest technological advancement that will reunite owners with their lost money with greater speed, ease, and convenience.” said Chiang. “For those who have put off doing paperwork to claim smaller amounts of property, the simple eClaim tool provides a painless option.”

Currently, 72% (or 18 million) of the 24.9 million lost items being safeguarded by the Controller’s Office are eligible to be claimed through eClaim. Depending on feedback and usage, future editions of this tool may include a higher qualifying dollar threshold.
For tips on how to use eClaim, watch this tutorial or call the Controller’s Unclaimed Property Division at (800) 992-4647.

Since January 2007, the Controller has reunited owners with more than $2.5 billion in cash that had been lost or forgotten – more than any previous Controller. As of June 2013, the Controller also returned 181 million shares of securities to owners, which is more than 30 times the amount returned to owners during the previous decade.

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