New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that his office has over $14.5 billion in unclaimed funds and urged New Yorkers to see if any of it belongs to them. In State Fiscal Year (SFY) 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.
"We've made it easier for New Yorkers to search for and claim money that is rightfully theirs," said DiNapoli. "Over two million people visit our website every year, and we return $1.5 million a day. But we need people to help spread the word to their family, friends and neighbors. Take a few minutes out of your day and visit our website."
There are currently more than 35 million unclaimed funds accounts, some dating back to the 1940s. Excluding New York City, the majority of people who are owed money can be found on Long Island, where there is over $326 million in 590,983 accounts owed to Nassau County residents and over $240 million (524,316 accounts) for residents in Suffolk County. Westchester County has over $250 million (448,529 accounts) owed to residents, followed by Erie County (over $113 million owed to 241,221 accounts) and Monroe County (over $82 million owed to 196,890 accounts).
In his annual report on unclaimed funds, DiNapoli released regional data on the total amount of unclaimed funds paid by county in SFY 2015-16. Outside of New York City, DiNapoli's office paid out the most to Long Island residents (over $58 million to 69,551 accounts), followed by the Capital-Saratoga region ($42.6 million to 15,283 accounts) and the Hudson Valley ($31.6 million to 46,478 accounts).
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.
B-roll video available here: https://youtu.be/_slr5IzUtzM