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Eye on Annapolis: Franchot taking unclaimed property to local fairs and festivals this summer
May 19, 2018
Comptroller Peter Franchot and agency staff will demonstrate a particular set of skills this summer and fall at local fairs and festivals to help reunite Marylanders find their “Taken” Unclaimed Property, which includes abandoned bank accounts, security deposits, insurance benefits and items in safe deposit boxes.
“If I find your unclaimed property now, that will be the end of it,” Comptroller Franchot says in his latest Unclaimed Property video based on the 2008 movie starring Liam Neeson. “If you don’t claim it, I’ll keep looking for you. I will find you. And I will return your money and your property to you.”
Last summer, 3,770 people at fairs and festivals throughout the state checked out the agency’s Unclaimed Property booth looking for their property on the annually published list. Of that total, 567 people discovered and received more than $470,000 in unclaimed funds. One Baltimore County resident attending the Maryland State Fair found $71,517. This year’s Unclaimed Property inserts, which is running in more than 30 newspapers across the state, lists 79,110 accounts worth more than $62 million. Individuals and businesses can also search the online Unclaimed Property database.
Taking a creative approach to raising awareness about the Unclaimed Property program, Comptroller Franchot has appeared as “The Franchot Zone,” “Sheriff Franchot,” “Sherlock Franchot and “The Most Interesting Man in Maryland.” This year’s cover features him from the movie “Taken.”
Financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations are required by law to notify the Comptroller’s Office of any property that has gone unclaimed, or without activity, for more than three years. Once reported to the agency, staff works to locate the rightful owners to match them with their property. Funds are available to be claimed at any time, with no statute of limitations.
In Fiscal Year 2017, the Comptroller’s Office honored nearly 52,719 claims totaling more than $76 million. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has returned more than $661 million in Unclaimed Property.