When BC Unclaimed receives a new unclaimed property over $200, we make an effort to locate the rightful owner of the funds. If we find someone with the same name as our information, we send them a letter.
Does that mean BC Unclaimed has money that is yours?
Not always. When we search for people, we are looking for anyone with the same name as the name we have on file. The individual needs to provide identification and documentation to prove they are the same person listed in our database.
How does BC Unclaimed locate people?
BC Unclaimed has access to names and contact information found in databases like ICBC, Healthnet and BC Online. We use that contact information to try to connect unclaimed property with rightful owners.
Can you trust BC Unclaimed?
Do you need more information about BC Unclaimed before you’re ready to start a claim? Check out our About us page to learn more about BC Unclaimed, our mandate from the Province of British Columbia, and how our non-profit organization works.
What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property is the legal term for money an organization has that the rightful owner hasn't used for a long time. Credit unions, utility companies, insurance companies, and the government can all have unclaimed property. When we refer to "property" we always mean money; we don’t mean land, houses or any other physical property.
What is unclaimed property?
Credit union accounts
Intestate estates (death without a will and next of kin cannot be located)
Companies in liquidation
Overpaid debt collections
Real estate deposits
What is not unclaimed property?
NOT Physical possessions
What happens to unclaimed property?
BC Unclaimed receives unclaimed property from such places as courts, estates, and insurance companies. We actively search for rightful owners of unclaimed property and publish a list of unclaimed property owners on our website. We hold onto unclaimed property until the rightful owner is found. When someone claims to be the rightful owner, we verify this through identification and documentation. If we confirm that they are the rightful owner, we send them a cheque and reunite them with their unclaimed funds.
BC Unclaimed sends you a cheque for unclaimed funds
You are not the rightful owner:
BC Unclaimed informs you by email that you are not the rightful owner of the funds
You deposit cheque and are reunited with your unclaimed funds
BC Unclaimed holds funds until rightful owner is found
BC Unclaimed supports charities all over BC by donating excess unclaimed funds to the Vancouver Foundation
BC Unclaimed does not charge any fees for its services. Sometimes it costs money for people to obtain documents they need to prove to BC Unclaimed that they are the rightful owner of unclaimed funds. This might include court fees or notary fees. BC Unclaimed staff let potential owners know about these costs so that they don’t end up paying more in external fees than the balance held by BC Unclaimed.
We can’t publish the exact dollar value of unclaimed properties because of BC’s Unclaimed Property Regulations. We only list unclaimed funds on our website if they are $50 or more. We actively search for and send letters to try to find a rightful owner if a property is $200 or more. Once we confirm that you are the rightful owner of a property, we will tell you its exact dollar value.
Once BC Unclaimed receives the required documentation, a claim is usually processed within 30 days. If we determine that we have found the rightful owner, we will then send them a cheque for the unclaimed funds.
Unclaimed property is always available to its rightful owner. If someone can prove ownership, we return their property. The more time that passes, the harder it may be to provide the documentation you need to prove that you are the rightful owner.
The Unclaimed Property Act specifies that interest is not paid on unclaimed money. You will not receive interest earned on your property unless interest accumulated before the money was transferred to BC Unclaimed.
You are responsible for declaring relevant assets when you file your income tax. BC Unclaimed does not provide tax advice. We encourage you to consult an accountant or income tax professional about any questions you may have.
We will need a legal change of name certificate in order to process a claim. You can get a change of name certificate from the BC Vital Statistics Agency.
We work with executors or legally appointed representatives of estates to identify and find legal heir(s). We help reunite unclaimed property from estates with the rightful owner according to applicable provincial laws.
You can find links to websites for other unclaimed property programs and organizations that may hold unclaimed property on our Other sources page.