Deadwood It’s Not.

Sheriff Franchot, Saddled with $64 Million

in Unclaimed Property, Tries to Round Up Marylanders to Check the Listings

 Annual Newspaper Insert Lists Nearly 76,000 Accounts

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 4, 2016) – In recent years, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has impersonated pop culture characters like a horse takes to oats when he markets the state’s Unclaimed Property listings. This year, Maryland’s top lawman Sheriff Franchot wants Marylanders  to try their luck at stuffing their pockets with coin.

It might all seem a tad silly, but there’s a method to the madness. The Unclaimed Property basket is chock full of possessions and financial payoffs that banks, insurance companies and financial institutions told the state they were unable to return to the rightful owners. Any of the goods not claimed by those who own it eventually goes to the state.

Since he was first sworn in as Comptroller in 2007, Franchot has had a burr in his saddle about the state holding onto people’s oof. Staff members cut dirt to get Marylanders to read the list, which is available online at and also published as an insert to more than 30 newspapers statewide. It only takes a minute to check for your name alphabetically.

Sheriff Franchot appears on the cover of the whole 184-page kit-and-caboodle insert, which starts appearing in some newspapers today.  The department he’s in cahoots with will release a YouTube video soon, with Franchot appearing in a traditional Western hat, a badge and alongside his trusted Maryland steed.

In previous years, Comptroller Franchot has transformed himself into “Sherlock Franchot,” “The Most Interesting Man in Maryland,” “Indiana Franchot,” and 0033, a James Bond tribute.

“This year, I’m willing to wear a tin star,” the Comptroller said. “I’ll speak my mind, but only if I have a fast horse.”

Along with the Unclaimed Property list, which is published annually as required by law, the Comptroller’s Office searches tax records and Motor Vehicle Administration files to try and locate property owners. The agency also has a booth at the Maryland State Fair, and other events throughout the year, to allow people to check the Unclaimed Property database.

Marylanders can also check to see if their name is on the Unclaimed Property list through the Comptroller’s website. Here’s how:

Financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations are required to notify the Comptroller’s Office of any property that has gone unclaimed, or without activity, for more than three years.  This is usually wages, bank accounts, stocks or dividends, life insurance policies or from safe deposit boxes.

When the Comptroller’s Office receives property that isn’t monetary, as required by state law, the items are appraised and then auctioned off on eBay ( The proceeds are held for the owner in perpetuity. Funds are available to be claimed at any time, with no statute of limitations and are not subject to taxes.

Franchot urges anyone who finds his or her name on the list to contact his office at 410-767-1700(Central Maryland), or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383, to find out how to reclaim their lost property.

The Comptroller’s Office honored nearly 56,000 claims totaling more than $66 million in Fiscal Year 2015. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has returned more than $450 million in unclaimed property. In total, the agency has more than 1 million accounts worth more than $1 billion in its Unclaimed Property accounts.




Carroll County Times (Sunday Choice), May 7

The Capital (Sunday),  May 8

        Sunday Choice, May 7

Maryland Gazette, May 7

Frederick News Post, May 8

The Baltimore Sun (Sunday) May 7

       Baltimore County, May 8

       Baltimore City, May 8

       Howard County, May 8


Bay Times, May 4

Dorchester Star, May 6

Kent County News, May 5                                             

Record Observer, May 6                                                  

Star Democrat, May 8      

The Caroline Times Record, May 4                                                        

The Daily Times (Wicomico) May 4-10

The Daily Times Weeklies

Worcester County Times, May 4-10

         Somerset Herald, May 4-10

The Ocean Pines Independent, May 4-10              
Wicomico Weekly,
May 4-10


 The Aegis, May 6

 Cecil Whig, May 6

Dundalk Eagle, May 5

The Avenue, May 5

The Bargaineer, May 6


     Calvert Recorder, May 4

     The Enterprise, May 4

     Maryland Independent, May 4

The Washington Post, May 6

       Montgomery County, May 6

       Prince George’s County, May 6

       Charles County, May 6

El Tiempo Latino

       Montgomery/Frederick, May 6

       Prince George’s/Anne Arundel, May 6

The Sentinel
            Montgomery County
, May 4-10

            Prince George’s County, May 4-10


    Cumberland Times-News, May 6  

The Herald-Mail, May 6

The Republican, May 6