California City Unveils Unclaimed Property Site Using State Data

A new city portal has streamlined the process for Lake Forest, Calif., residents on the hunt for unclaimed property.

by Nathaniel Percy, The Orange County Register / November 1, 2017

(TNS) -- LAKE FOREST — Residents now have a hyper-local source to check for unclaimed property with the city’s new webpage on its website that provides an interactive map with information based on name and address.

The State Controller’s website shows a total of $5.2 million in unclaimed property to 31,519 different Lake Forest businesses and residents, said Brett Channing, the city’s director of management services.

Common types of unclaimed property include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages and safe deposit box contents.

California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations and other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office when there has been no activity for a period of time, state officials said.

Normally, in order to find unclaimed property, residents must visit the State Controller’s website and fill out forms just to see if unclaimed property is tied to their address.

Channing said the webpage will make the process easier for residents and business owners.

“We were able to contact the State Controller’s website and get the data for Lake Forest unclaimed property and use it for our website,” he said.

The idea to make the information available on the city’s website was introduced by Councilman Andrew Hamilton and approved by the council in April 2016.

The webpage allows residents to type in their name or address to see if they have unclaimed property. Residents can bypass the search bar and start with the map for their home. If they find unclaimed property, they can click the link to the form on the State Controller’s website to start the claim process, Channing said.

“We just want to make it easier for individuals to access and make people aware that it’s out there,” he said. “Some have no idea that this information existed before and hopefully it will bring further awareness.”

Access the interactive map at

©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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