Do you have forgotten money sitting in a dormant account?

Are you owed some of the $130 million in unclaimed funds sitting in dormant accounts in B.C.?

Sponsored by B.C. Unclaimed Property Society | Impress Branded Content

With the festive season upon us, many B.C. residents could use a little extra money to help get them though the holidays. For many people, that elusive extra cash may be closer than they think. Thousands of British Columbians have forgotten funds sitting in dormant accounts waiting to be claimed.

In B.C., there is an estimated $130 million in unclaimed funds in long-forgotten credit union accounts, unpaid wages, overpayments to debt collectors, unclaimed proceeds from courts, pension funds, estates and forgotten real estate deposits.

“Accounts become dormant for a number of reasons,” says Alena Levitz, executive director of the not-for-profit B.C. Unclaimed Property Society, whose mandate is to put forgotten or unclaimed funds back in the hands of the rightful owners. “People move without leaving a forwarding address, neglect to pick up a final paycheque, forget about a security deposit or they simply pass away.”

Under the British Columbia Unclaimed Property Act, companies and organizations have a legal responsibility to identify and locate the owners of dormant accounts. If unsuccessful, they are required after a specified period of time to transfer these unclaimed funds to the B.C. Unclaimed Property Society.

BCUPS holds unclaimed property as the legal custodian for rightful owners under the Act. In addition to actively searching for owners of unclaimed property, BCUPS maintains an online database where individuals can conduct a name search to check if they have any unclaimed money waiting for them. Funds can be claimed by completing a verification process that firmly establishes the claimant’s identity. There is no cost to search, file or process a claim for unclaimed property.

Last year, BCUPS received $3,915,730 from financial institutions, companies, courts, tax offices and the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia and returned $978,229 in unclaimed funds to the rightful owners. This year alone, approximately $986,900 in orphaned accounts have been paid out to claimants.

“For many people, particularly seniors, finding forgotten money in a dormant account can be a life-changing experience,” says Levitz noting that BCUPS’ oldest claimant was a 104-year-old woman who recently received $1,200 from an insurance policy rebate.

Most unclaimed accounts hold $200 to $300 on average. The single largest unclaimed property payout by BCUPS was $357,262, made in 2011.

Just Posted

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Most Read