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April 29, 2014 > Unclaimed Money

Unclaimed Money

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa

the County of Santa Clara, Department of Revenue (DOR) has published a name list of approximately 1,060 people who are potential owners of nearly $244,000 in unclaimed money on deposit with the County. The money comes from a variety of sources such as fines, penalty assessments, fees and restitution due to victims of crime. This list of names can be obtained at under ÒHot Items.Ó

As the County of Santa ClaraÕs central collection agency, the Department of Revenue collects for services provided by many of the CountyÕs departments and for the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara for fines, penalty assessments, fees and restitution due to victims of crime. On an annual basis, approximately 113,000 people make payments through the Department of Revenue. The office processes nearly 337,000 payments, for total revenue of $79,000,000 collected per year and distributed to the appropriate agencies or departments that render the myriad of services provided by County, city and state government.

The unclaimed money becomes available at DOR for a variety of reasons, including overpayment; adjustment of charges; payment of victim restitution by a defendant when the victim has moved and a new address is unavailable; returned mail resulting in the discontinuation of payments; deposits for which the recipient can find no service related charges. DOR attempts to locate the owners via mail, phone calls and skip tracing. In some cases, recipients do not want the money or donÕt have records to validate their acceptance of payments.

ÒEfforts are made to locate owners of the unclaimed money, but in many cases, we are unable to reach them because of limited or outdated information,Ó said Susan Ping Wong, County of Santa Clara Director of Revenue Collections. ÒWe cannot stress enough how important it is that residents who have accounts with DOR keep their contact information current.Ó

Residents who believe that they may be due a refund or victim restitution payment based on their published names should fill out the claim form found on the website, at or contact DOR at (408) 282-3203. The claim form requires information such as the claimantÕs name, address, amount of claim, and the grounds on which the claim is founded. Residents must also provide a valid ID when submitting the form.

All claims should be filed by May 30, 2014. After the deadline, unclaimed money in the Victim Trust Fund will be used to fund and assist the District Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Program. Unclaimed money in the General Trust Fund will be transferred to the County General Fund and used as directed by the County Board of Supervisors.

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