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Unclaimed Money
Unclaimed Money

Claim Instructions and Information

Cover Letter
Claim
Supplemental
Submission
Required Identification
Heir Finder Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Related Links

  1. COVER LETTER - Prepare a Cover Letter with the following information:
    • Claimant's name
    • Claimant's address and daytime phone number
    • Payee name as shown on the website
    • Check number as shown on the website
    • Issue date as shown on the website
    • Amount as shown on the website


  2. THE CLAIM

    A valid claim must include two required forms, a signed "Affidavit" for the re-issuance of a Kern County check and a "Request for Reissue" of a Kern County Stale-dated Check. If being claimed by an Heir or Asset finder the Standard Investigator Agreement must be included with the two claim forms. These forms can be printed from the website. A separate Affidavit containing the payee name and address, check number, issue date, and dollar amount must be submitted for each check. This information needs to be exactly the same as that shown on the original check and can be found using the Website's "Search our Database" link. The Claim must include copies of documents identifying the claimant. See details under Required Identification.

    The following guidelines will outline who is authorized to sign the Affidavit:

    1. Individual. If the payee on the check is an individual, the person named as the payee must sign the Affidavit. If there are multiple payees listed on the check, then each must sign the Affidavit.


    2. Corporation. If the check is payable to a corporation (including Non-Profit Corporate structures), the Affidavit must be signed by an officer of the corporation. Qualifying officers include the following:

      • Chairman of the Board President
      • Chief Executive Officer
      • Chief Financial Officer
      • Corporate Secretary (or Assistant Corporate Secretary)
      • Executive or Senior Vice President
      • Vice President
      • General Counsel
      • Treasurer (or Assistant Treasurer)
      • Controller (or Assistant Controller)
      • Chief Accounting Officer Director (Non-Profit ONLY)


    3. Partnership. If the check is payable to either a General Partnership or a Limited Partnership, then the Affidavit must be signed by a General Partner of the organization. A Limited Partner is approved to sign the Affidavit ONLY if this person has been specifically authorized by the partnership to participate in the control and management of the business.


    4. Limited Liability Company. If the check is payable to a Limited Liability Company, the Affidavit must be signed by a Managing Member of the organization. A Manager is approved to sign the Affidavit ONLY if this person has been specifically authorized by the membership to participate in the control and management of the business.


    5. Sole Proprietorship. If the check is payable to a Sole Proprietorship, the Affidavit must be signed by the owner of the business.


    6. Government Agency. If the check is payable to a Government Agency, the Affidavit must be signed by an officer of the agency. Qualifying officers include the following:

      • Executive Officer
      • Chief Administrative Officer
      • Chief Financial Officer
      • Finance Director
      • Agency Director
      • Department Head/Chief (or Assistant Department Head/Chief)
      • Bureau Chief (or Assistant Bureau Chief)
      • Division Chief
      • Treasurer (or Assistant Treasurer)
      • Controller (or Assistant Controller)
      • Fiscal Officer


    7. Trust. If the check is payable to a Trust, the Affidavit must be signed by EACH individual who has been appointed as a trustee. Required supporting documentation includes a copy of the Trust Agreement that gives the names of each trustee.


    8. Estate/Deceased Payee. If the check is payable to a deceased individual or to the estate of a deceased person, the Affidavit must be signed by either the executor or the administrator of the estate. Required supporting documentation includes a copy of the Death Certificate and evidence of appointment as executor or administrator.


    9. Re-Marriage or Divorced Payee. Required supporting documentation includes a copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree.


  3. REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTATION


    1. PROOF OF OFFICER'S TITLE

      If the check is payable to an organization, rather than an individual, evidence to substantiate the signor's position within the organization must be provided. Examples of such evidence include the following: a business card displaying the officer's title, a partnership agreement, articles of organization, etc.


    2. PROOF OF ACQUISITION (OR MERGER)

      If the check is payable to a company that has since been acquired by (or merged with) another company, the acquiring company must provide legal evidence of such acquisition (or merger).


    3. POWER OF ATTORNEY

      If the payee utilizes a third-party agent (such as an asset recovery company) to file a claim, a notarized Power of Attorney MUST be submitted to the County and signed by the same person who signed the Affidavit(s).


    4. NOTARIZED AFFIDAVIT

      If the claim is being mailed in, the Affidavit must be notarized.


  4. CLAIM SUBMISSION AND REVIEW

    Please be sure to include ALL required supporting information with your claim request. FAILURE TO SUBMIT A CLAIM INCLUDING THE REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTATION MAY RESULT IN THAT CLAIM BEING DENIED AND RETURNED TO THE SENDER. As a result, claimants are requested to provide as much information as possible in order to expedite our review process and to substantiate the claimant's right to the un-cashed check.

    The completed claim(s) and required supplemental information should be mailed or delivered to:

    Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector
    1115 Truxtun - 2nd Floor
    Bakersfield, CA 93301

    Please note that it may take up to 15 days to process your claim, and if approved, approximately 15 additional days for you to receive payment. This process may take longer under certain circumstances.


  5. Required Identification

    Individuals:
    Copy of current photo identification (i.e. current driver's license).

    Businesses:
    Copy of a current photo identification for the authorized officer or official claiming on behalf of the company.

    Letterhead or business card of the individual claiming on behalf of the company.

    Heir or Asset Finders:
    A notarized Power of Attorney signed by the same person who signed the Affidavit(s).

    Agreement between the Asset Finder and claimant. Signatures must be notarized.



  6. Heir Finder Information

    Heir finders or asset locators are individuals or companies that offer to reunite the apparent owner or heirs with unclaimed property for a fee. Under Section 1582 of the California Code of Civil Procedures an investigator is not allowed to charge a fee of more than 10% of the recovered amount.

    In Kern County, the rightful owners of unclaimed money DO NOT have to use an heir finder to file a claim.

    • Owners of Unclaimed Monies can conduct a search for free on the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector's Web site.
    • If an owner chooses to use an heir finder, a full disclosure contract specifying where the property is coming from must be signed between the owner and the heir finder.
    • Checks are issued in the name of the claimant and are mailed to the investigator.
    • Payment of the investigator's fee is an issue to be resolved by the claimant and the investigator.

    If you have concerns about an heir finder or asset locator, contact your Better Business Bureau.


  7. Frequently Asked Questions

    What are Unclaimed Monies?
    Unclaimed Monies most often consist of un-cashed stale dated county warrants (checks). Unclaimed funds from Kern Medical Center, Kern County Probation Department and Kern County Sheriff's Department are also held as Unclaimed Monies.

    What efforts are made to find the owners?
    The Kern County Treasurer/Tax Collector's office publishes a notice in the Bakersfield Californian annually. This Web site provides a database that allows possible owners or heirs to conduct a search in their name or that of a relative.

    How does the claim process work?
    The claim form printed from our Web Site includes instructions. These claim instructions list documentation that you must provide when filing your claim. All claims must include a copy of a current picture identification for each claimant. When our office receives your completed claim form, we review it carefully. Our office will contact you if your claim information is incomplete.

    Is there a fee for processing my claim?
    No. Owners or heirs may claim their funds directly from the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector's office without any service charges or fees. However, if you are represented by an heir finder or investigator, he or she may charge you a fee, not to exceed 10% of the value of the claim amount, per Section 1582 of California's Unclaimed Property Law. Payment of the investigator's fee is an issue to be resolved by the claimant and the investigator.

    What are "Asset" or "Heir" Finders?
    Heir finders or asset locators are individuals or companies that offer to reunite the apparent owner or heirs with unclaimed property for a fee.

    Is there a time limit for claiming my funds?
    Government Code section 50055, et. Seq. provides that unclaimed monies in excess of $15.00 which remain in the treasury or in the official custody of the officers of a local agency for three (3) years must be published as notification that the money will become the property of the agency after a designated date if it is left unclaimed.

    Escheatment to the general fund occurs if a verified claim is not filed by the designated date forty-five to sixty days after the date of first publication. This annual publication always includes the claim deadline.

    Where do I send my claim?
    Mail the completed claim form and all supporting documents to the following address:

    Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector
    1115 Truxtun - 2nd Floor
    Bakersfield, CA 93301

    How long will it take for my claim to be processed?
    Each claimant must provide identification documentation in order for a claim to be processed and paid. Please allow two to four weeks for the claims to be processed.



  8. Related Links

    Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds: Kern County Auditor and Controller
    Unclaimed Federal Income Tax Refunds: Internal Revenue Service
    Nationwide Unclaimed Property: National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA)
    Lost or Forgotten U. S. Federal Savings Bonds: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt
    Undelivered or Unclaimed HUD/FHA mortgage Insurance Refunds: Housing & Urban Development

 
 
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