Uncover your Unclaimed Property

By: Nicole Anderson

Unclaimed property in the United States totals over $25 Billion.  It is estimated one in nine people are owed unclaimed property.  How much is owed to you and your family?  How do you claim it? This article will tell you.

Annually each state receives deposits of unclaimed property.  California’s added almost $1 Billion to their $8 Billion+ in unclaimed property in 2005.

What is Unclaimed Property?

Unclaimed property is a general term that can be any of the following:

-    Savings Accounts

-    Checking accounts

-    Safe deposit box contents

-    Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends

-    Uncashed cashier's checks or money orders

-    IRS refunds

-    Wages

-    Child support payments

-    Matured or terminated insurance policies

-    Estates

-    Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts

Why does the State have these unclaimed properties?

The property ends up in government accounts due to laws requiring the property to be turned over to the state or other governing agency after a period of approximately 3 years without contact from the owner. Oftentimes the owner moves and does not leave a forwarding address or forgets that the account exists. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

How to Find if You are Owed Unclaimed Property

You have to search for it, but it is not difficult if done right.  You can find it in a matter of minutes.  Each state has its own database but it is not enough to search only the state where you reside.  If you have conducted business with companies outside the state, the funds may be reported in the state where the business was located.  If it is money for an heir it may be in the state(s) or residence of the benefactor.

Also, a state search will not locate missing money in the many federal databases.  You also need to search variations of your name.  For example, if your name is Michael James Anderson an account might be under M Anderson, M J Anderson, or Michael Anderson or Mike Anderson.This can be a time consuming and tedious process to locate and search over 120 databases.  The most comprehensive government site only incorporates about 20 states into its database.  This search would still produce incomplete results and you may miss money owed to you.  Comprehensive Unclaimed Money SearchesIt is worth the small fee to utilize a private site that has compiled all state and government databases.After you have completed your search by name you will be given results from the database.  It may contain multiple records, some of which are not yours.  The record will normally have details on the property, the value, institution the funds originated from, owner address, etc.  You should be able to tell which accounts are yours from a quick look at these details.

What to do when you find the your unclaimed propertyAfter locating your unclaimed money and unclaimed property follow the directions to submit the claim.  The claim process varies slightly depending on the type of account or state of claim.  Usually the claim consists of filling out and sending a form or affidavit and copies of identification or documents relating to the account. Through continued efforts to educate the public on the topic of unclaimed money more and more Americans are finding their lost funds.  Over $1 Billion was returned last year.  It is likely you or your immediate family members have unclaimed property.  Now that you are aware it exists and know how to find and claim itComputer Technology Articles, you can search for what is owed to you!

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