Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Booths Coming to a Fair Near You

Annapolis, MD ( July 18, 2007) — Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that employees of his office will be setting up booths this summer at events throughout the state to allow people to check his office’s files of unclaimed property. This summer-long outreach effort will stretch until mid-September, and will include stops at five county fairs and the Maryland State Fair. A complete event schedule is listed below.

“Our number one job at the Comptroller’s Office is to serve the people,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Part of that responsibility is to connect people with unclaimed funds so they get what they are owed. I urge Marylanders who are attending any of these events to stop by our booth. Stay tuned as we come to a community near you this summer and help reunite people with their lost treasures.”

Financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report to the Comptroller any bank accounts, security deposits, wages, insurances benefits and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been unclaimed after three years. Funds remain the property of the owners or their legitimate heirs and can be claimed anytime. There is no statue of limitations.

Last year at the State Fair alone, more than 500 people claimed lost property totaling almost $206,000, with the highest single claimant netting $31,052. Currently, the agency has records on approximately 714,000 accounts worth more than $580 million.

Other outreach methods used by the agency include issuing annual newspaper advertising supplements as well as searching for owners by matching files with Internal Revenue Service and state Motor Vehicle Administration records. Nearly 14,000 people found lost money in this year’s unclaimed property newspaper advertising campaign.

The Comptroller noted that if people are unable to attend any of this summer’s events, they can check his agency’s complete unclaimed property records for free, online, at either www.marylandtaxes.com or www.missingmoney.com. Anyone who finds their name should to contact the office at 410-767-1700, in Central Maryland, or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383, to find out how to make a claim.

SUMMER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Washington Metro Region
Montgomery County Fair August 10-18, 2007
Prince George’s County Fair September 6-9, 2007

Baltimore Region
Harford County Fair July 26-29, 2007
Howard County Fair August 4-11, 2007
Maryland State Fair August 24 – September 3, 2007
Anne Arundel County Fair September 12-16, 2007

Contact: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)