WNYT.com

Comptroller's office seeking to reunite NYer's with funds

Posted at: 05/20/2013 10:59 AM
Updated at: 05/20/2013 9:26 PM
By: Abigail Bleck



SCOTIA - It's a misconception, in New York at least, that all government does is take your money.

Comptroller Tom Dinapoli's office of unclaimed funds is returning $1 million a day to New Yorkers.

A simple phone call or web search could leave you $1.7 million richer. Bill Hohenstein's house in Scotia is his pride and joy.  He's lived here for nearly half a century with his wife and raised his family here.

But that doesn't mean there are no surprises.  On this day in May Hohenstein received the surprise of his life when a representative from the New York state comptroller's office presented Hohenstein with a check for $8,624.

The money is from the state's unclaimed funds account.  Currently New York is sitting on more than $12 billion that is due to citizens.  The Hohensteins' check--which will be split amongst Bill's siblings--was from a life insurance policy his now late mother took out in 1936, four years before Bill was even born.

The money in New York’s unclaimed funds account originates from many places: closed bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance dividends and if the rightful owner can't be located, it's then turned over to New York’s comptroller, who is increasing efforts to reunite residents with their cash.

Most of the payouts are from $50-$100.  But in 2008 an individual separated from a stock claim received more than $4 million and right now there's an account, in search of an owner, for $1.7 million.

The windfall for the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corp wasn't in the millions.  But it was $2,370.27 the not-for-profit wasn't expecting.

GAVAC is making a significant investment in new cardiac monitors.  The money will go towards that and, ultimately, translates to better patient care.

The Hohensteins' unexpected inheritance will come in handy, too.

To see if you have any unclaimed funds, CLICK HERE.