CUMBERLAND — Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that the Unclaimed Property Section of the agency has surpassed a significant milestone — processing more than $1 billion in claims since the program began in 1966.
“It’s a testament to the hard-working men and women of our agency that so many Marylanders have reclaimed their money and property,” said Franchot. “From dormant bank accounts and forgotten security deposits to abandoned insurance claims and property left in safe deposit boxes, we have doggedly worked to identify the rightful owners and return what is theirs.”
In its first year, the Unclaimed Property Section paid out 12 claims with a value of $711.48. More than 50 years later, the program disburses more than $60 million annually.
Each year, the Comptroller’s Office launches a public awareness campaign to promote the publication of the unclaimed property list. In addition, the list of 69,039 accounts worth more than $59 million will be the highlight of the comptroller’s booth at fairs and festivals around the state this summer and fall. The unclaimed property booth will be set up at the Allegany County Fair & Ag Expo from July 13-20.
Last year, 3,160 people at Maryland fairs and festivals stopped by the agency’s display to peruse the published list. Of that total, 642 people discovered and received more than $557,000 in unclaimed funds.
In total, the agency has more than 1.3 million accounts worth more than $1.6 billion in its unclaimed property program. Individuals and businesses can search the database at www.marylandtaxes.gov.