Do you have forgotten money sitting in a dormant account?

Financial vigilance can pay rewards when it comes to searching out old accounts

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

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

Parksville-area thieves target catalytic converters

RCMP: ‘We’re getting the same thing in terms of theft of gas’

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read