The money comes from a variety of sources such as fines, penalty assessments, fees and restitution owed to crime victims. The list of names can be found at www.sccgov.org, under the "Hot Items" tab.
As Santa Clara County's central collection agency, the Department of Revenue collects for services provided by many of the county's departments and for Santa Clara County Superior Court.
The office processes nearly 337,000 payments, totaling some $79,000,000 per year, and distributes it to the various agencies and departments that provide multiple county, city and state government services.
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; and deposits for which the recipient can find no service-related charges.
The department attempts to locate the owners by mail, phone calls and skip tracing. In some cases, recipients don't want the money or don't have records to validate their acceptance of payment.
"Efforts are made to locate owners of the unclaimed money, but in many cases, we are unable to reach them because of limited or outdated information," said Susan Ping Wong, county director of revenue collections.
"We cannot stress enough how important it is that residents who have accounts with DOR keep their contact information current," she said.
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 on the department's website, www.sccdor.org, or contact DOR at (408) 282-3203. Residents must provide a valid ID when submitting the form.
All claims should be filed by May 30. After the deadline, unclaimed money in the Victim Trust Fund will be used to fund 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's Board of Supervisors.