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Politics and Government

New Yorkers have yet to claim $14 billion in lost money. Is some of it yours?

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Tom Magnarelli
/
WRVO News
Matthew Horseler gets a check from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

There is about $14 billion in lost money or unclaimed funds owed to residents in New York state. People attending the New York State Fair can check out the new state comptroller's booth to see if they have any unclaimed funds.

Matthew Horseler of Auburn did not know about the comptroller’s office of unclaimed funds until he received a call from them. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli traveled to the state fair and presented Horseler with a check for $627.

“It’s going to go to great use I think, a lot of fun,” Hoseler said.

The Onondaga Historical Association also received a check for $562.50.

The office of unclaimed funds helps people and organizations get reconnected to money from old bank accounts, security deposits and checks that were not cashed.

"Very often what's happened is you've moved and the financial institution has lost track of you," DiNapoli said. "If those checks aren't cashed or those accounts aren't active, they're declared dormant, they're turned over to the comptroller's office for safe keeping until we find you or you find us." 

If you are at the fair and want to see if some money is owed to you, the comptroller has an updated stand at the Center of Progress building with computers and tablets to make the process easier. DiNapoli said he hopes that means they can help more people.

“We’re really trying to make it as easy as possible for people to search our system and see if this money is owed to them," DiNapoli said. "Here for Onondaga County, there’s about $46 million that haven’t been claimed.”

Kelly Kuracina is an assistant bureau director at the Office of Unclaimed Funds and said their booth is more of a self service kiosk station.

"They can search for themselves, search for family members," Kuracina said. "If they find something, they're able, in most cases, to submit it online. Last year it was much more of a paper trail, this year it's more electronic."

Kuracina said most people who find a claim will get paid in three to five days. For people not attending the fair, DiNapoli says New Yorkers can call 1-800-221-9311 or go on the comptroller’s unclaimed funds website.