Comptroller Peter Franchot has recently reunited with his ‘twin’ brother to help promote his efforts to return Maryland unclaimed property to its rightful owners. In May he created a video using the popular HGTV show as a guide, it playfully describes a story of one of the ‘twin’ brothers finding an old bank statement while remodeling a house. After finding it, he shares this information with his ‘brother’ who reaches out to the bank who provides the name of the account holder. Franchot then tracks down this individual to inform him of the six figure bank account in his late fathers name.
Typically banks won’t provide this information and if the account went dormant, the state is actually the one to have the names. Still, Franchot created a unique way to draw attention to unclaimed property and money. These efforts will help more people search for unclaimed money, especially since the main outreach is to place inserts in 30 local newspapers. These inserts will list over 69,000 accounts with a total of $59 million in missing money and property.
Maryland Unclaimed Property Outreach
Maryland unclaimed property outreach is limited to inserts, but the Comptroller is working to reach a more youthful audience using YouTube as an outlet. Maryland’s unclaimed money totals are nearly $1.6 billion spread over 1.3 million accounts. According to an article, in fiscal year 2018 Maryland reunited almost 44,000 current and former residents with almost $60 million. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s office has returned more than $700 million in unclaimed property to its rightful owners.
Like most states, Maryland unclaimed property also includes actual property. Throughout the year the Comptroller’s office auctions off property that has sat for years. Current auctions include a 1914 $5 bill and a 1923 $1 bill. Jewelry and currency are the typical items up for bid.