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More than $150M belonging to B.C. residents unclaimed, society says

The largest dormant account is approximately $1.9 million waiting to be claimed. The Canadian Press Images / Nathalie Madore

How much unclaimed cash do you have? According to the B.C. Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS), more than $150 million is sitting on their shelves.

The society says there is approximately $159,702,621 in unclaimed money, which has been steadily accumulating since it was established in 2003.

In 2018, around $6,115,202 was received and approximately $1,720,685 was returned to rightful owners, many whom had no idea they had forgotten funds.

Most unclaimed accounts in the BCUPS’ database hold anywhere from $300 to $500, but the society says one of the accounts contains $1.9 million from an unclaimed estate.

READ MORE: More than $140M belonging to B.C. residents sits unclaimed at Property Society

Millions of dollars in British Columbia go unclaimed in dormant credit union accounts, forgotten insurance payments, unclaimed wages, over payment of debt collectors, pension funds, estates and forgotten real estate deposits, the society said.

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BCUPS executive director Alena Levitz said in a statement that accounts can be forgotten and dormant for a number of reasons.

“If you’ve moved around a lot, chances are you’ve become separated from some money that belongs to you,” she said. “You could have left some funds in a credit union account you forgot to close.

“Another common scenario is when an employee leaves a place of employment, moves away and the employer can’t locate them to give them their final pay.”

READ MORE: Do you have any unclaimed money? Website helps you find out

The society has access to several databases to try and locate potential owners and staff members to conduct presentations to financial institutions. This reminds companies to transfer dormant accounts to BCUPS so they can find the rightful owners.

Residents can check the BCUPS website to check if they have any unclaimed money and funds can be claimed by completing a verification process.

Levitz said if the person is a match, the society will issue a check within 10 to 12 business days.

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