SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – State Controller Betty Yee announced Tuesday that her office is safeguarding nearly $770 million in unclaimed cash belonging to Californians and is urging owners to take steps to retrieve it.

The unclaimed financial property includes forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks and safe deposit box contents.

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The Controller’s office told KPIX 5 that the $770 million was just the latest bundle received from institutions, and that the state is safeguarding a total of $9.3 billion in unclaimed property.

People who think they have unclaimed property can visit a state database for free and fill out a secure claim form online for most property.  Some items may need additional proof of ownership.

“A search of the unclaimed property database only takes a couple of minutes and this is a great time to do it because more properties transfer from banks, businesses, employers, and life insurance companies each summer,” Yee said.

Potential owners can search the controller’s database at www.claimit.ca.gov or call (800) 992-4647. There is no time limit for submitting a claim.

Yee said that during the 2017-18 fiscal year, California property owners received about $309 million for nearly 580,000 claims, with an average payout of $534.

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