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

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Tim Baillie, the “Supreme Commander” of Toque Tuesday events in Surrey, at Surrey Civic Plaza in 2018. (File photo: Bala Yogesh)
Ball hockey scrubbed, Surrey’s ‘Toque Tuesday’ turns to drive-thru collection to help homeless

‘Clean out your closets and stop by from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,’ urges the event’s ‘Supreme Commander’

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

Surrey RCMP is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing 32-year-old, Gurwinder Kular, who was last seen on Jan. 15, 2021 near 72nd Avenue and 137th Street. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP looking for missing man last seen on Jan. 15

Police say Gurwinder Kular was last seen near 72nd Avenue and 137th Street

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

Most Read