The Office of the New York State Comptroller maintains responsibility for securing and holding so-called “lost” funds or “unclaimed funds” owed to individuals and entities by businesses, banks, utility companies, insurance companies and the state. These accounts range from minor overpayments on utility bills to large amounts held by estates.
The State Comptroller’s Office maintains a website and searchable database where individuals or entities can search to see if they are owed funds. Currently, there is roughly $16.5 billion in unclaimed funds that the New York State Comptroller has catalogued.
Since 2018, the Office of Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has not made a request or filed a claim with the New York State Office of the Comptroller for any monies potentially owed to Erie County government or its corresponding entities. In total, there are dozens and dozens of potential unclaimed fund accounts for Erie County directly and hundreds when the Erie County Medical Center Corporation is included in the search.
Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, a member of the Erie County Legislature’s Finance and Management Committee, as well as Democratic Candidate for Erie County Comptroller, today sent a governmental request to the County Comptroller detailing his findings of the potential unclaimed funds owed to the County.
In the letter, Hardwick requested that the County Comptroller’s Office conduct its own research and validate the Hardwick findings, and make an official claim to the State Comptroller’s Office for money due and owing to Erie County.
“This is an easy and straightforward way for the County Comptroller’s office to ensure our taxpayers are receiving the services they’ve paid for while being fiscally responsible. The State Comptroller publishes and promotes this database to the public on a regular basis, urging people to search for money owed to them. I encourage the current administration to conduct a thorough review and quickly claim the funds Erie County is rightfully owed,” said Legislator Kevin Hardwick.
The searchable database is available at https://www.osc.state.ny.us/unclaimed-funds. All entities are able to search for unclaimed funds in their names for free on this website. Claims can be easily submitted online.