How Do You Search for Unclaimed Money in California?


Quick Answer

Search for unclaimed money in California by locating the unclaimed property search engine on the California State Controller's Office website and conducting an online search. If the unclaimed money is difficult to find, phone the Unclaimed Properties Division of the Controller's Office and hire a claims investigator.

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Full Answer

  1. Conduct an online search

    Go to the website of the California State Controller's Office. On the left side, under Featured Links, click on Search for Unclaimed Property. In the middle of the page that appears, click the green button that says Search for Unclaimed Property. Select the Individual Owner Search button, and type in your name and the city you live in. If you locate the money you are looking for, file a claim for it.

  2. Phone the office

    Phone the Unclaimed Properties Division if you cannot find the money you are searching for. To find the toll free number, go to the main page of the California State Controller's Website. Click on Unclaimed Property Contacts, which is near the bottom of the left column.

  3. Hire an investigator

    Hire an investigator, also known as an asset finder, if you cannot locate the money. Read the disclosure contract thoroughly before you sign it, because you are liable for the payment specified in the contract. By law, an investigator cannot charge you more than 10 percent of the value of the property you are attempting to locate, and this amount should cover all the fees associated with the investigation.

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