New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown today urged local residents to search for unclaimed funds during a news conference at City Hall. DiNapoli said there is $88,208,650 owed to residents in the city of Buffalo. There is over $265 million owed to residents in Western New York.
"My office is trying to return more than $88 million in lost money to people who live in Buffalo. It only takes five minutes to see if we have any of your money," said DiNapoli. "And we’ve made it easier than ever for New Yorkers to search for and claim what is rightfully theirs. Today’s event with Mayor Byron Brown helps to increase awareness about unclaimed funds and get even more checks out in the mail to the rightful owners."
"I’m pleased to partner with State Comptroller DiNapoli to help get money back into the pockets of rightful owners or their descendants here in Buffalo," said Mayor Byron W. Brown. "The whole process is easy and all that stands between you and the potential money you are owed is a simple online search. Today, I encourage you to log onto the Comptroller’s website to see if any of the $88 million in unclaimed funds in Buffalo belongs to you."
Representatives from DiNapoli’s office were available to help local residents check to see if their name was listed in the unclaimed funds database.
DiNapoli also presented an unclaimed funds check for $2,300 to the Buffalo Zoo.
Statewide, there are more than 35 million unclaimed funds accounts valued at $14.5 billion. In State Fiscal Year 2015-16, DiNapoli’s office set a national record for the third consecutive year for the most unclaimed funds returned in one year totaling $452 million. DiNapoli said his office returns about $1.5 million a day.
The majority of unclaimed funds accounts stem from old bank accounts but also include stocks, life insurance, uncashed checks and gift cards. State law requires that abandoned money or securities be transferred to the Comptroller’s office if there is no activity in an account for a period which is typically three years. DiNapoli serves as the custodian of these unclaimed funds until they’re claimed by the rightful owners.
A breakdown of unclaimed funds by region and county is available via an interactive map on the Comptroller’s website.