How to collect unclaimed money from the California State Controller’s Office

Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M., get the money. Dolla dolla bills y’all.

Man holding a small amount of cash

It’s like finding an unexpected $10 in your pocket.

Photo via Pexels

$9.3 billion. That’s how much unclaimed property the California State Controller’s Office is holding. Even better, it takes but a second to check whether you have any unclaimed property and are owed some cashand just a few minutes more to claim what’s yours.

Anyone with a last-known address in California may have unclaimed money that the state is holding. It could be an old utility deposit you forgot about or an old payroll check that didn’t make it to an address before you moved.

If a company tries to send the money but it doesn’t make it to its rightful owner, that money goes to the California State Controller’s Office. If that person has died, the appropriate family member can claim it. There is no time limit for residents to make claims.

Do you have any unclaimed money? Here’s how to start your treasure hunt:

  • Click here for the state’s unclaimed money search.
  • Enter your business name or first + last name. You also have the option of adding in more details with an “advanced search,” by entering the city, address, property number, etc.
  • Click the “Search” button and you’ll be prompted to another page, with names + addresses.
  • Search the list of names to see if yours is there, along with a familiar address. If it is, click the “Add” button on the left side of the property information.
  • Once you have selected all the options with your name and address, select “Claim Properties in My Cart” on the right side of your screen.
  • You have the option to continue as a guest or create an account for a quicker process.
  • Once you continue as a guest or create your account, there’s a short form that asks you for your social security number, along with a bit more basic information. 🕵️
  • Type that info in to make your claim + voilà, information on how much money you may be owed will appear.
  • From there, state officials go through a due diligence process to make sure the right person is claiming the money. Claims can take several weeks to process. ⌚