As the new year approaches, Guam’s financial institutions have once again notified the residents of Guam that any inactive accounts will have all their funds transferred to the Treasury of Guam come January 2023. Any unclaimed money in checking or savings accounts will become escheated funds, which means the government has the right to take ownership of them. The Bank of Guam and First Commercial Bank Guam Branch posted their notices on November 1, along with a current list of all the inactive accounts. To reclaim their funds from inactive accounts, account holders should check their accounts and call their bank before January 1, 2023. However, January 1 is not the final date because residents have a year to file with the Treasurer of Guam and claim their refunds.
According to the government of Guam, around $200,000 is collected from neglectful and inactive account holders, but the amount can vastly vary per year. In 2019, $172,000 was collected while in 2018, $100,000 was collected.
The government is legally required to take these escheated funds under Guam Code Annotated Section 106119, Article 1, Chapter 106 of Title 1. The Guam Code allows for two uses of the collected money: the money is either deposited in the government of Guam general fund or given to the Guam Housing Corporation’s first-time homeownership loan program. While it may seem like the government is heavily benefitting from these funds, in reality, the government is putting this money back into programs for the public, especially since escheated funds are usually transferred to the Guam Housing Corporation.