From modest beginning in 1966, returning money and property to rightful owners has become major agency initiative
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 9, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that the Unclaimed Property section of the agency has surpassed a significant milestone – processing more than $1 billion in claims since the program began in 1966.
“It’s a testament to the hardworking men and women of our agency that so many Marylanders have reclaimed their money and property,” said Comptroller Franchot. “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.”
In its first year, the Unclaimed Property section paid out 12 claims with a value of $711.48. More than 50 years later, the program disburses more than $60 million annually.
Each year, the Comptroller’s Office launches a public awareness campaign to promote the publication of the unclaimed property list. This year’s theme, incorporated in the print insert distributed to newspapers throughout the state and a video titled “Unclaimed Property Brothers,” features Comptroller Franchot and his previously unknown “twin” brother Pierre finding unclaimed property during a home renovation.
In addition, 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 peruse 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.
In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its Unclaimed Property program. Individuals and businesses can also search the online Unclaimed Property database at www.marylandtaxes.gov.
This year, the Unclaimed Property booth will be set up at the following fairs and festivals:
Allegany County Fair
11490 Moss Ave.
Howard County Fair
2210 Fairgrounds Road
West Friendship, MD
Montgomery County Fair
501 Perry Pkwy.
Maryland State Fair
August 23-September 2
2200 York Road
Prince George’s County Fair
Show Place Arena
14900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Upper Marlboro, MD
Anne Arundel County Fair
1450 Generals Highway
Great Frederick Fair
797 E. Patrick St.
Master Aging Expo
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Power of Age Expo
Maryland State Fairgrounds
2200 York Road
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410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)
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410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)