New York State Wants to Give You Money....Seriously

$265 million of unclaimed funds for Western New Yorkers

Mike Baggerman
March 16, 2017 - 4:28 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown urged New Yorkers - especially Western New Yorkers - to claim money that you probably never knew you had.

A total of $88,208,650 of lost money is owed to residents in the City of Buffalo and $265,203,286 in total to all residents of Western New York. The money, which again may be some of yours, was lost for various reasons including old bank accounts, corporations, insurance companies, state court funds, and more. In all of New York State, residents have $14.5 billion of unclaimed funds.

"The reality is we have made it easy for people to claim their unclaimed funds by going to our website," DiNapoli said inside City Hall. "Part of what we're doing is providing a direct service. The other piece is to make people aware that this program exists. I do many things as comptroller but this is the most fun part because when you're returning people's money it makes a tangible difference."

DiNapoli presented two ceremonial checks. One, the $88,208,650.61, was presented to Mayor Brown for the residents of the city. The other, a $2,300 check, was issued to Donna Fernandes of the Buffalo Zoo. 

Find out if you have any unclaimed funds by clicking HERE

The $14.5 billion of unclaimed funds is still used by New York State as part of the general budget. However, DiNapoli explained that even if a person claimed money that was lost as far back as the 1950's, the state is still responsible to pay that person back. 

DiNapoli added there are some variables, such as unclaimed funds for deceased residents. In that case, extra paperwork may be necessary to retrieve lost funds. 

Fast Facts:

Total Funds Unclaimed: $14.5 billion
Total Number of Accounts: More than 35 million
Source of Funds: Banks (38%), Corporations (21%), Insurance Companies (14%), State Court Funds (4%), Brokers/Dealers (3%), Other (14%).
Average Claim Amount: 53% of claims are less than $100
Largest Amount Still Unclaimed: Over $1.7 million for an individual account
Claim Fee: NO FEE TO RECLAIM FUND. Private companies can charge up to 15% "Finder's Fee"

You can also call 1-800-221-9311 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to retrieve lost funds.


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