Unclaimed Money, $30 Billion and Growing

By: Nicole Anderson

Think you know where all your money is?  Maybe not.  There are over 50 million people that are owed unclaimed money.  Their money has been turned over to state and federal databases and is waiting to be claimed.  Most have no idea the money is there!

Experts have estimated that as many as 8 out of 9 people are owed unclaimed money.  This statistic seems high, but consider that in California alone close to $1 Billion will be added from 2006 to the $4.8+ Billion already laying in the CA state unclaimed money pool. 

How Does Money Become Unclaimed money

Most unclaimed money is concerned abandoned due to the following:

  • Change in address - The owner moved and did not update contact information with the business trying to deliver or holding the money.
  • Name change -  This could be due to the owner getting married or divorced
  • Death of the owner - the estate was unaware of the money or the heirs could not be located
  • Owner does not know assets have been considered abandoned - Sometimes the owner knows about the asset, but is unaware that it has been declared abandoned and turned over to the state.
  • Dormant Account – The account lays dormant for 2-3 years (depending on the state) and the account owner cannot be reached.

After the money is considered abandoned it is turned over to the correct Federal or State government due to “escheat laws" or unclaimed money state and federal laws requiring businesses to turn over unclaimed money after a period of time has elapsed.

Think you might be owed any unclaimed money?

Consider that unclaimed money can include:

  • Lost Bank Accounts
  • HUD Refunds
  • 401K Pension Benefits
  • Postal Money Orders
  • Indian Trust Funds
  • Veteran Benefits
  • Missing Inheritance
  • IRS Refunds
  • Savings Bonds
  • Stocks, Dividends & Mutual Funds
  • Government Pensions
  • Child Support Payments
  • Life Insurance
  • Lost Safety Deposit Box
  • Uncashed checks and wages
  • Insurance policies
  • CD's,
  • Trust funds
  • Utility deposits
  • Escrow accounts

How to Find Out If You Have Unclaimed money

You can conduct an unclaimed money search at various sites or via phone.  It can be time consuming but there are some quality websites that will make searching easy.

You want to make sure your search for assets unclaimed does the following:

- Searches ALL 50 states

It is very likely you or someone in your family is owed money that is reported in a different state.  Without address it will be reported in the state the business reporting the unclaimed funds was located in.  If you only search the state where you reside it is likely you will miss some money owed to you.

- Searches Federal databases

Depending on the source of the funds they may be reported in Federal databases.

- Searches for Variations of your name

The account may be listed under a variation of your legal name.  For example Robert P Jones may be listed as Bob Jones, R P Jones, R Jones, etc.

- Search for Your Family & Friends

Want to be the hero of the day? Find money owed to your loved ones!

-THE EASY WAY: Find a database that does all the above at once!

What to Do After You Find Unclaimed money owed to You?

File A CLAIM! 

The place where you find your money should provide a claim form.  Complete the form and include any proof of identification needed.  This may include a copy of licenseComputer Technology Articles, social security card and/or birth certificate. 

If the money is not yours but you are entitled to the unclaimed assets as an heir you will need documentation to prove that also.

Now that you know you or your family and friends are owed money go find and claim it and email me when you get a check in the mail! 


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