By Deb Belt
ANNAPOLIS, MD — One billion dollars in assets that belongs to Maryland residents has been processed by the state, while $1.6 billion is sitting in government vaults waiting to be claimed. Each year the state of Maryland holds on to millions of dollars in unclaimed money that belongs to the public and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot’s office just topped the $1 billion dollar mark for processing claims since the program began in 1966.
In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its unclaimed property accounts. In fiscal 2018, the comptroller’s office honored nearly 43,883 claims totaling more than $68 million.
“From dormant bank accounts and forgotten security deposits to abandoned insurance claims and property left in safe deposit boxes, we have doggedly worked to identify the rightful owners and return what is theirs,” Franchot (D) said in a news release.
The money is held until it is claimed by the rightful owner or that person’s heirs — and many people who have unclaimed cash don’t realize it, whether it’s money owed from pension funds, business refunds or other sources, state officials say. Search the online Unclaimed Property database at www.marylandtaxes.gov.
The list of 69,039 accounts worth more than $59 million will be the highlight of the comptroller’s booth at fairs and festivals around the state this summer and fall. Last year, 3,160 people at Maryland fairs and festivals stopped by the agency’s Unclaimed Property display to check the published list. Of that total, 642 people (more than 20 percent of those who searched) discovered and received more than $557,000 in unclaimed funds.
This year, the Unclaimed Property booth will be set up at the following fairs and festivals:
Allegany County Fair
Through July 20
11490 Moss Ave., Cumberland
Howard County Fair
2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship
Montgomery County Fair
501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg
Maryland State Fair
Aug. 23-Sept. 2
2200 York Road, Timonium
Prince George’s County Fair
Show Place Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro
Anne Arundel County Fair
1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville
Great Frederick Fair
797 E. Patrick St., Frederick
Master Aging Expo
Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
Power of Age Expo
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium
What does the state consider unclaimed property? Stocks, bonds, savings accounts, security deposits, contents of safe deposit boxes, insurance proceeds and other valuables which are reported to the state as unclaimed by banks and other financial institutions after three years. Real property is not included, according to Franchot’s website.
The owners or their heirs can claim the money at any time. There is no statute of limitations. Individuals and businesses can search the online Unclaimed Property database with your first and last name. If you find the name you are searching for, print the claim form ST-912. Complete the form, be sure to indicate the claim number that appears with the account, include copies of any documentation, and submit everything to the comptroller’s office at the address shown on the form.
The comptroller’s Unclaimed Property division will help Marylanders find the items among the old bank accounts, stocks and bonds, security deposits, jewelry, insurance benefits, collectibles, valuable documents and other contents of safe deposit boxes.
If you have a question regarding unclaimed property, or need assistance, call Maryland’s Unclaimed Property Unit at 410-767-1700 in central Maryland, or 1-800-782-7383, or email the office at [email protected]us.
For instructions on how to claim property found in your name, write down the claim number and go HERE.
The federal government lacks a central website to find unclaimed funds. To search for unclaimed money that may be lying in a different state’s treasury, click here.
If you don’t have money lying in the state treasury, the government also suggests checking for unclaimed funds from bank failures or unclaimed deposits from credit union closures. You could also check for unclaimed or undelivered tax refunds or a refund from an FHA-insured mortgage.
Finally, you can check for unclaimed back wages, pension money or life insurance funds. Click here to find out how to search for these unclaimed funds.
Editor’s note: Maryland Matters has a content sharing agreement with Patch.com. To see the original article, click here.
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