Monday, July 02, 2007
Anguished tales of property taken by state [California]
Link to article at SFGate.com
The law requires that banks and other financial institutions notify the state controller's office if property has been left unattended for more than three years. The law also requires the state to take the asset into trust to be held until the rightful owners claim it.
But most of the time, no one claims the property, and when the assets have been converted to cash the state gets the benefit from the unclaimed property to pay for services such as health care and highway repairs.
Critics say the so-called lost assets have emerged as an important revenue source for the cash-strapped state, providing as much as $400 million annually for general spending -- enough to cover the salaries of more than 7,500 teachers.