What are unclaimed court funds?
In some court cases, a judge will order money to be paid into the court. Foreclosure and debt cases are two examples where money gets paid into courts. Another type of court fund is a restitution payment. Restitution is payment to benefit a victim for an injury or loss. Restitution may be paid into court as part of the resolution of a criminal case.
Sometimes no one follows up with the court to have the money paid out, or there is money left over after one person receives their share. After five years, that money is considered unclaimed and the courts transfer it to BC Unclaimed.
What is BC Unclaimed’s role in handling unclaimed court funds?
When the court transfers this money to BC Unclaimed, we add all the people or organizations named in the court case to our searchable database. We try to find the people involved and we send out letters to notify them that BC Unclaimed is holding money they may be entitled to.
We don’t decide who is entitled to money from a court case. Only the court can tell us who is entitled to the funds. We hold the money on behalf of the court and rightful owner. If you believe you are the rightful owner, you must get a court order directing BC Unclaimed to pay you the funds. We will then pay funds out as directed by the court.
The rightful owner needs to make an application to the court to have this order issued. BC Unclaimed does not charge any fees, but an owner may incur court or legal fees.
You have a court order. How do you claim court funds from BC Unclaimed?
What is BC Unclaimed’s role in handling unclaimed restitution payments?
If money is paid into court as restitution, BC Unclaimed will advise you by letter and no additional court order is required.
If BC Unclaimed has told you the money is a restitution payment, please use our website to upload a letter explaining why you are the person entitled to the restitution (i.e. what happened) and a copy of two pieces of your government-issued ID.
Check out these helpful resources for dealing with the courts.
Free legal advice
Low cost legal advice
Access Pro Bono’s Everyone Legal Clinic (select "civil disputes")
Legal coaching and support
Free help from paralegals to fill out court forms
Student-staffed free legal clinic in the BC Interior
Limited legal advice and Supreme Court information
Online legal information and resources
General online legal resources and information
Ask the court to waive (eliminate) fees
Supreme Court Information Packages (select Order to Waive Fees Package)