ANNAPOLIS — Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that nearly 2,000 people have discovered more than $2.5 million in unclaimed funds after visiting his agency’s booth at fairs and festivals across the state this Summer. One visitor to the Maryland State Fair discovered an unexpected windfall of $71,516.
Throughout the summer, Comptroller Franchot’s staff worked the unclaimed property booths at the African American Heritage Festival in Baltimore City, the Allegany County Fair, the Montgomery County Fair and the Prince George’s County Fair as part of a state wide initiative to help reunite Marylanders with money they are owed. In Montgomery County, one person discovered unclaimed property totaling $24,840.
“In these challenging economic times, it is our duty and pleasure to return unclaimed funds to their rightful owners,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Each day, we vigorously work to find the owners of the unclaimed property and to make sure they get what they are owed. This is our ongoing effort to serve the people of Maryland.”
Financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report to the Comptroller any bank accounts, security deposits, wages, insurance benefits and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been unclaimed after three years.
In addition to his booth at fairs and festivals, the Comptroller searches for owners of unclaimed funds by advertising in local newspapers and matching files with state income tax information, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles.
So far this summer, more than 12,000 people at the fairs and festivals mentioned made inquiries at the unclaimed property booths. The Comptroller’s staff will also participate in many other events now through the fall.