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

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

(Black Press Media file photo)
Central Saanich surveys residents’ thoughts on active transportation plan

The online survey results will be used to finalize the plan before it heads to council

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

Most Read