Are you entitled to the unclaimed money? Here’s how to check

The largest unclaimed account is a $1.9 million estate unknown to the legal heirs.

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Short of money? It’s a long shot, but a free database run by a BC nonprofit allows you to check if you’re entitled to any of the $177 million in unclaimed funds waiting for their rightful owners.

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The BC Unclaimed Property Society is the legal custodian of unclaimed funds in the province.

These could include forgotten money from dormant credit union accounts, unclaimed wages, unclaimed property, overpayments to debt collectors, or court proceeds.

“People lose track of their funds for a variety of reasons,” CEO Alena Levitz said in a statement. “People tend to move around a lot, change jobs often, or just forget to close an account.”

The organization saw an increase in unclaimed property inquiries over the last two years, an indication perhaps that British Columbians were trying to see, or recover, every penny during the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. .

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“For many cash-strapped British Columbians, reuniting with their unclaimed funds provided welcome financial relief during a period of unprecedented economic adversity,” Levitz said.

Most of the unclaimed accounts monitored by the society range between $300 and $500. The largest unclaimed account is a $1.9 million estate unknown to the legal heirs.

Last year, more than $4 million in unclaimed funds from BC courts, the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC, credit unions, insurance companies, various levels of government and other organizations were transferred to the organization. Over $717,000 returned to verified owners.

BCUPS also gives a portion of the unclaimed funds to charity each year. In 2021, it awarded $6.24 million in funding to the Vancouver Foundation to support community and social initiatives.

Since its inception, the organization has transferred around $54.6 million to the Vancouver Foundation and has returned more than $19 million from dormant accounts to their rightful owners.

To check if you have unclaimed cash, visit BCUPS’s free online database. There are no fees to search or claim funds.

chchan@postmedia.com

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