So, there’s an estimated $150 million CAD in unclaimed funds lying around BC.
Yep, you heard right.
Although it sounds pretty absurd, unclaimed funds are actually languishing in long forgotten credit union accounts, unpaid wages, overpayments to debt collectors, unclaimed proceeds from courts, pension funds, estates, and forgotten real estate deposits.
And some of this money could be yours.
Unclaimed money can sit on a company’s books for years, when it really belongs to the legitimate owner. But under the BC Unclaimed Property Act, companies and organizations have a legal responsibility to identify and locate the owners of dormant accounts.
If unsuccessful after a specific period of time, they’re required to transfer these unclaimed funds to the BC Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS). This non-profit society’s mission is to reunite unclaimed money with the rightful owners.
BCUPS holds unclaimed property as the custodian for rightful owners under the Act and has reunited owners with approximately $11,793,000 in funds from dormant accounts since its inception.
On average, unclaimed accounts hold $300 to $500, so it’s enough to get you a new winter wardrobe or use towards buying your new iPhone.
It’s free to search and claim dormant accounts through BCUPS and your privacy is always protected, making it even easier for you to check if there’s unclaimed money waiting for you.
In 2011, the single largest unclaimed property payout by BCUPS was $357,262. So you can imagine just how happy the receiver was. The largest dormant account in the BCUPS database waiting to be claimed at the moment is worth a whopping $1.9 million.
“Accounts become dormant for a number of reasons. People move without leaving a forwarding address, neglect to pick up a final paycheque, forget about a security deposit or they simply pass away,” said Alena Levitz, Executive Director of BCUPS.
Just so you know, dormant funds apply to provincially-regulated financial institutions, which fall under the purview of the BC Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS), and do not include dormant bank accounts, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Bank of Canada.