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Press Releases


Seasonal Employees and Businesses among
Californians with Unclaimed Property to Claim

(916) 324-2709

SACRAMENTO — State Controller Betty T. Yee today issued an alert that her team is safeguarding millions of unclaimed properties valued at $9.3 billion. Even owners of seasonal small businesses like pumpkin patches and Halloween costume shops have unclaimed property, often in the form of forgotten rebates or refunds. Employees of these businesses also may have a last paycheck they did not pick up.

Since 1959, California’s unclaimed property law has been in place as a consumer protection measure. If a business has lost contact with a property owner for a certain length of time – generally three years – the entity must transfer the property to the State Controller for safekeeping. There is no deadline for a rightful owner to claim property they find on the State Controller’s website. People can submit a claim at or by calling (800) 992-4647.

Beware: Some people may offer to help reunite owners with their property for a fee of up to 10 percent of the value of the claim, which the law allows. However, the State Controller’s Office will never charge for this service. Anyone can download the unclaimed property database for free and see if people in their community or organization have items being safeguarded by the state.

In September, 38,410 people were reunited with properties worth more than $23 million. Here is a snapshot of claims paid last month to people in eight cities across the state:

  • 29 properties valued at $7,360 in Red Bluff;
  • 556 properties valued at $161,961 in Folsom;
  • 88 properties valued at $18,619 in Sunnyvale;
  • 56 properties valued at $26,554 in Hanford;
  • 55 properties valued at $19,462 in Ridgecrest;
  • 93 properties valued at $20,210 in Thousand Oaks;
  • 126 properties valued at $68,685 in Hesperia; and
  • 303 properties valued at $49,962 in Irvine.

As the chief fiscal officer of California, Controller Yee is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources. The Controller has independent auditing authority over government agencies that spend state funds. She is a member of numerous financing authorities, and fiscal and financial oversight entities including the Franchise Tax Board. She also serves on the boards for the nation’s two largest public pension funds. Elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018, Controller Yee is the tenth woman elected to a statewide office in California’s history. Follow the Controller on Twitter at @CAController and on Facebook at California State Controller’s Office.