7 Ugly Lies About Unclaimed Money

By: Nicole Anderson

Lie #1 : The holder responsible for your accounts will look for you for 3 years before handing your money over to the government.

Truth:  The holder of the money doesn’t look very hard to find you.

If you have an account opened with a company or institution, say a bank account for example, and have moved or become unreachable by your bank, the bank is responsible for attempting to locate you for 3 years.  After 3 years has past with no contact from you, the bank will turn over your property, or money, to the government to store in an unclaimed money trust fund until you claim it.  Unfortunately it is very questionable how hard these companies or institutions look for you. 

For example, in the California state database the following have unclaimed money owed to them: Reese Witherspoon, Benecio Del Toro, Ryan Seacrest, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver.  Also, interesting to find that money in the CA state unclaimed money database there is money owed to the State of California DMV, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department and Social Services.  This means the state of California is holding its own unclaimed money and can’t find itself!  Did the companies that were holding this money really look very hard to find the owners?

Lie #2:  There are few people owed unclaimed money.

Truth: There are millions of people owed unclaimed money.

The total of unclaimed money is billions and billions of dollars owed to millions and millions of people.  The amount of accounts turned over to the states annually is staggering!  In Arizona alone $50 MILLION in unclaimed funds were reported to the state for 2004.  The state of Florida is holding $1 BILLION!  On the Washington State website for unclaimed money they state 1 in 7 are owed money!

Lie #3: If you search for money in your state you will find all that is owed to you.

Truth: If you only search for money in your state of residence you may miss money that is owed to you.

If you have ever lived outside your current state of residence or have done any business with any company(s) outside your state, the money may be reported in the state where the company existed.

For example: If you lived in California your whole life but had an insurance policy with a company in New York and they had no address on record, the money owed from the policy would be listed in the New York state database not California.

Inheritance is often reported in the state of residence for the deceased, since it is unclaimed chances are the heir’s address is unknown.

Most states have their own searchable database, but remember, searching your own state is not enough.

Lie #4: All you have to do to receive your unclaimed money check is fill out a form.

Truth: You will have to fill out a claim form AND provide identification.

To submit your claim for money owed to you, you will have to fill out the appropriate claim form.  However, that is not the end of the claim process.  You will need to provide form(s) of identification and possibly documentation that proves you are the rightful owner of the funds.

Lie #5: The average claim paid out for lost funds is a couple hundred dollars.

Truth: The average claim that is paid is well over $500.

To the surprise of many, the average claim amount is about $1000!  Billions were paid out in claims last year alone. 

Lie #6: Every unclaimed money search is the same.

Truth: Some unclaimed money search sites are much better than others.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a database to search for your unclaimed money.

You want to find an up to date database.  A good database will have frequent updates to make sure the most recently reported unclaimed money is in their database.

The database should search name variations.  This means if you put in your name it will search possible slight variations in your name to make sure all money owed to you is found.  For example William B Smith may be Bill Smith or W B Smith.

Make sure it covers all databases.  There are individual state and federal databases so, make sure you search databases that includes all of these to ensure no money is overlooked.

Lie #7: You can only search for your own unclaimed money.

Truth: You can search for money owed to your family and friends! 

They will be happy to get the news that you found them money!  By the lowest estimation 1 in 7 is owed money.  This would mean that if you searched only your immediate family it is almost a guarantee you will find money.

Now that you are armed with the truth about unclaimed moneyScience Articles, go out and find the money that is owed to you and your family!

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