Missing and Unclaimed Money: How to Get Your Cash
Free money. It sounds like a scam, but according to CBS News, $33 billion worth of unclaimed money is sitting in state treasuries and other agencies, just waiting to be returned. That’s an average of $280 per unclaimed payment, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
Where does the money come from? Unclaimed money, aka unclaimed property, are accounts with financial institutions or companies that have gone inactive or that have lost contact with you. This might happen if you move or forget to cash a check, or if the check got lost in the mail. Some of the most common types of unclaimed funds include savings or checking accounts you never closed; stocks; dividends, uncashed paychecks, insurance payments, refunds, annuities, and customer overpayments.
To find out if any of the cash belongs to you, you can do a quick and free online search, since states are required to keep track of the unclaimed property. Forty states register their missing money with Missing Money.com. You can also try Unclaimed.org. Don’t use websites that charge you a fee. Remember to search in every state you’ve lived in, and search under maiden names and deceased family members.
If you do find money, you’ll need to file a claim with the state government, including your personal information and Social Security number. This can usually be done online. You’ll get your cash in just a few weeks!
Happy money hunting!