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County of Santa Clara Seeks Owners of Unclaimed Money

Department of Revenue Publishes List of Potential Owners

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Today, the County of Santa Clara Department of Revenue published a name list of approximately 1,350 people who are potential owners of nearly $545,000 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. The list of potential owners of this unclaimed money can be obtained at www.sccgov.org under “Hot Items.”

As the County of Santa Clara’s central collection agency, the Department of Revenue collects for services provided by many of the County’s departments and for the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, for fines, penalty assessments, fees and restitution due to victims of crime. On an annual basis, approximately 81,500 people make payments through the Department of Revenue. The office processes nearly 290,000 payments, for a total revenue of $82,000,000 collected per year and distributed to the appropriate agencies or departments that rendered the myriad of services provided by County, city and state government.

Unclaimed money becomes available at the Department of Revenue for a variety of reasons: 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. In some cases recipients do not want the money or don’t have records to validate their acceptance of payments.

“We try to locate owners of unclaimed money via mail, phone calls and skip tracing, but in many cases, our staff is unable to reach the owners because of limited or outdated data,” said Susan Ping Wong, County of Santa Clara Director of Revenue Collection.“We encourage residents who have accounts with us to always update us if their contact information changes.”

Claims should be filed by May 27, 2011. After this 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 of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.

People who believe that they may be due a refund or victim restitution payment based on the published names should contact the Department of Revenue at (408) 282-3203 to obtain a claim form. The claim form requires information such as the claimant’s name, address, amount of claim, and the grounds on which the claim is founded. A valid ID must be provided when submitting the form.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Susan Ping Wong, Director, Revenue Collection (408) 282-3152.
Posted: April 18, 2011