There is more than $12 billion in lost money in New York state.
That is why the Office of Unclaimed Funds is assisting people in finding their money. The Office of Unclaimed Funds administers the New York state Abandoned Property Law. It is responsible for the collection, safekeeping and distribution of unclaimed funds and securities. Every day the state office returns $1 million to those who file claims. According to the state's website, www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/index.htm, more than $31,412,332 has been returned to people since Jan. 31.
According to an interactive map at the state's website, in Chautauqua County there are 23,743 accounts with $8,790,823.69 in unclaimed funds. In Cattaraugus County, there are 13,594 accounts with $4,663,073.30 in unclaimed funds.
People can find out if New York state is holding their money by searching their name in the state database. A last name is required, but the first name field can be either a full name or a first initial. If you don't find your name right away, try using different search criteria, such as first names or cities. If you still cannot locate funds, but think that you may have unclaimed funds, you may call the Office of Unclaimed Funds at 800-221-9311, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also write to the Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds, at 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236. The office can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow up to three business days for an email response. The Office of Unclaimed Funds wants to help people find lost funds so there is no charge for the service.
If there is a match after your search, you can claim your money online or by mail. To claim online after you select the item you wish to claim from the search results, you will be asked to answer a few questions if the item is eligible to be claimed online. Based upon the answers and the information the state has in its system about the item, you may be given the option to claim the item online. Step-by-step instructions are provided throughout the process.
If you choose not to claim online or if the item is not eligible to be claimed online, select the item you wish to claim from the search results, then select the mail form link. You must enter your full name and current address to generate a claim form. After you enter the required information, print the form; sign the form and have your signature notarized by a licensed notary public; attach the required documentation; and mail the completed form to the New York state Comptroller's Office of Unclaimed Funds, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.