Much like how matter cannot be created or destroyed, only re-arranged or moved, so too it goes with money. If you quit a job and forgot to get your last paycheck, had your folks open up a savings account for you in your childhood and then forgot all about it (the bank account, not your childhood) or left a check from your health insurance company sitting underneath your bookshelf for six years, the State Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Funds has your money.
By law, banks, insurance companies, utilities and other companies have to turn over the funds from any dormant accounts or unclaimed dividends that have been sitting around from two to five years to the state, who hold it for you for safekeeping. And in the case of banks, presumably so they don’t use it to leverage themselves off a cliff. And while no, you won’t magically find an uncashed birthday check from meemaw in their database, if you’re disorganized or subject to frequent blackouts because you’re having a great time at parties, maybe ConEd sent you a utility refund but you forgot to tell them you were moving. After all, there’s $12 billion just sitting there lonely and unused, so why not take a second to see if some if it’s yours?