Last year, BCUPS returned approximately $1,219,000 in unclaimed funds to the rightful owners.

Last year, BCUPS returned approximately $1,219,000 in unclaimed funds to the rightful owners.

Are you owed some of BC’s $150 million in unclaimed funds?

BC society helps access long-forgotten accounts - for free!

Are you owed some of the $150 million in unclaimed funds

sitting in dormant accounts in B.C.?

If you’re looking for some extra cash to get on top of those upcoming holiday bills, that elusive money may be closer than you think.

In B.C., there is an estimated $150 million sitting in dormant accounts waiting to be claimed.

Money held in these unclaimed accounts, which includes long-forgotten credit union accounts, unpaid wages, overpayments to debt collectors, unclaimed proceeds from courts, pension funds, estates and forgotten real estate deposits, are administered by the B.C. Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS).

BCUPS, a non-profit society created by the provincial government and Vancouver Foundation in 2003, works to reunite people with their forgotten or unclaimed assets. In addition to actively searching for owners of unclaimed property, BCUPS maintains an online public database (unclaimedpropertybc.ca) which people can search to see if they have any unclaimed money waiting for them. If you find an unclaimed account in your name, the funds can be claimed by completing a verification process that firmly establishes the claimant’s identity.

BCUPS does not charge any processing fees to search for or claim outstanding funds, and the Society warns residents against paying private companies to do the work for them, saying it can easily be done online through the BCUPS website.

“It’s not uncommon for people to lose track of their assets,” points out Alena Levitz, Executive Director of BCUPS. “People often move without forwarding their mail for more than a year, neglect to pick up a final paycheque, forget about a security deposit or they simply pass away without their heirs knowing much about their finances.”

“The good news is there’s no statute of limitations on unclaimed property. Your money will remain your property no matter how long it’s been idle. We actually have one unclaimed account dating back to 1859.”

Last year, BCUPS returned approximately $1,219,000 in unclaimed funds to the rightful owners. The single largest unclaimed property payout by the Society was $357,262 made in 2011. And largest dormant account in the BCUPS database waiting to be claimed is worth a whopping $1.9 million.

But those are the extremes, most unclaimed accounts hold between $300 to $500 on average. Still, that’s a tidy sum to put in your pocket when you don’t expect it.

Unclaimed money can inadvertently sit on a company’s books for years. Under the British Columbia Unclaimed Property Act, companies and organizations have a legal responsibility to identify and locate the owners of dormant accounts. If unsuccessful, they are required after a specified period of time to transfer these unclaimed funds to BCUPS, which holds unclaimed property in trust indefinitely as the custodian for the rightful owners.

“The amount of money designed as unclaimed has actually grown by more than 60 percent over the last six years as more companies and organizations become aware of their legal responsibility to get dormant accounts off their books,” says Levitz.

Last year, BCUPS received approximately $5,585,000 from financial institutions, companies, courts, tax offices and the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.

Unclaimed property administered by BCUPS includes dormant credit union accounts, unclaimed wages, outstanding insurance payments, court payments, intestate estates (death without a will), overpayments to debt collectors, and outstanding real estate deposits. It does not include dormant bank accounts which are administered by the Bank of Canada.

Follow the B.C. Unclaimed Property Society on LinkedIn.

Just Posted

Lantzville District Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lantzville moving forward with 7.6-per cent property tax increase

District council passes three readings of financial plan bylaw

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for Nanaimo

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen cancelled due to ‘high winds and sea state’

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
UPDATE: Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
AUDIO: Parksville-Qualicum’s new MLA eager to get to work

Adam Walker stops by PQBeat podcast studio to discuss politics and more

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

Most Read