Has Your Unclaimed Property Been Taken?

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 1, 2018) - Do you think your property has been Taken? Comptroller Peter Franchot is continuing his quest to reunite Marylanders with their unclaimed property. He knows who you are. He knows what you want. He doesn’t have money for everyone, but he will return property to those who do.

“I have a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a dream for people like you,” Comptroller Franchot says in his latest Unclaimed Property video based on the 2008 movie starring Liam Neeson.

This year’s Unclaimed Property inserts, which will run in more than 30 newspapers across the state, lists 79,110 accounts worth more than $62 million. Individuals and businesses can also search the online Unclaimed Property database. Comptroller Franchot made this vow:

“If I find your unclaimed property now, that will be the end of it. If you don’t claim it, I’ll keep looking for you. I will find you. And I will return your money and your property to you.”

In fiscal year 2017, the Comptroller’s Office honored nearly 52,719 claimed totaling more than $76 million. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has returned more than $661 million in unclaimed property to the proper owners.

The Unclaimed Property list is full of possessions and financial payoffs that banks, insurance companies and financial institutions were unable to return to the rightful owners. Any of the goods not claimed by their owners eventually go to the State.

The Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property division will help you to find the items among the old bank accounts, stocks and bonds, jewelry and other contents of safe deposit boxes. The belongings of value – be they monetary, sentimental or a little of both – will be returned to their rightful claimants.

The Comptroller appears on the cover of the 192-page insert that will begin appearing in some newspapers today. The annual Unclaimed Property video is a complementary effort to draw attention to the campaign. In previous years, Comptroller Franchot appeared as “The Franchot Zone,” “Sheriff Franchot,” “Sherlock Franchot” and “The Most Interesting Man in Maryland.”

Along with the Unclaimed Property list, which is published annually as required by law, the Comptroller’s Office searches tax records and Motor Vehicle Administration files to try and locate property owners. The agency also has a booth at the Maryland State Fair and other events throughout the year to allow people to check the Unclaimed Property database.

Financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations are required to notify the Comptroller’s Office of any property that has gone unclaimed or without activity for more than three years. This is usually wages, bank accounts, stocks or dividends, life insurance policies or from safe deposit boxes. When the Comptroller’s Office receives property that isn’t monetary, as required by state law, the items are appraised and then auctioned off on eBay. The proceeds are held for the owner in perpetuity. Funds are available to be claimed at any time with no statute of limitations, and are not subject to taxes.

Franchot urges anyone who finds their name on the list to contact his office at 410-767-1700 (Central Maryland) or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383, to find out how to reclaim their lost property.

In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its Unclaimed Property accounts.

View the Unclaimed Property Spring 2018 advertising schedule here.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Joseph Shapiro -  jshapiro@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-7305 (office); 443-871-2244 (mobile)

Alan Brody –  abrody@comp.state.md.us
                                        410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)