Is NYS Holding Your Money?

Patty Ritchie

June 30, 2014

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

These days, every penny counts.  That’s why so many of you have been pleased to find out that New York State had been holding on to money you didn’t even know you were missing. 

Just recently, I asked the State Office of Unclaimed Funds to create a list of abandoned or forgotten accounts—including old bank accounts, rent or utility deposits, gift cards and other types of accounts—that the state is holding with owners’ addresses in the three counties I represent.  In doing so, I discovered accounts belonging to 57,000 Central and Northern New York residents, including some area local governments. 

By law, the state holds on to the funds in these accounts until they are claimed by their rightful owners.  The problem is, most people don’t even know they are missing money and they don’t know where to look to find it.  In my district, the state is currently holding the following:

      Jefferson County: 25,797 accounts, valued at $6,439, 645

      Oswego County:  20,405 accounts, valued at $6,201,676

      St. Lawrence County: 10,385 accounts, valued at $2,823,847

Each account holds a minimum of $25.  You can find a breakdown of accounts by town by clicking here.  Additionally, there were also accounts for 58 counties, cities, towns and villages in our region, valued at more than $71,000. 

Finding out if the state is holding on to your money is as easy as visiting the Office of Unclaimed Funds website and entering your first and last name.  You can find a special link to their website here.  If you think you’re one of the 57,000 with money to claim and I encourage you to start your search today.