With $33 billion dollars nationwide in unclaimed property, chances are some of it might belong to you.
Unclaimed property consists of forgotten utility deposits, insurance refunds, final paychecks, stocks, savings accounts and more. The money is held in the state of the owner's last known address. However, you may have money in a state in which you never lived. If owner's address is unknown, the money is held in the state in which the holder (the company that has the money that gets turned over to the state) is incorporated.
Here's how to start your search:
Go to www.missingmoney.com and enter your name. You can search most states this way. To search state-by-state, click on the map of the US on the home page. Even if your state participates on the missing money site, you get the maximum number of listings by searching the individual state records. This is because the very new and the very old listings are not on the national site.
For additional places to search, there is a bar at the top of the missingmoney home page. Click on "Links" then "Related Links." You'll find connections to:
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Click the link for information about possible FHA refunds.
- IRS for unclaimed tax refunds. If you don't claim it in three years, you lose it.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-- Find unclaimed funds for insured deposits or dividend checks that issued and were undeliverable or never cashed.
- US Savings Bonds--There are 40 million savings bonds that have stopped earning interest. The estimated value is $16.5 billion dollars. That's like having money stuffed in your mattress. It's time to cash them in and reinvest the money.
- Veteran's Administration--The site has loads of information about benefits and services. After all, they aren't benefits if you don't take advantage of them.
- Financial Management Service--Each individual federal agency maintains its own records. If you think a government agency may have money for you, check out this site.
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation--Refunds on traditional retirement accounts
- International unclaimed property sites including Canada, Australia and Switzerland.
If you check this time and there is no listing for you, remember to check back at least once a year. National Find Your Missing Money Day is the day after your taxes are due.
There is no charge to search using the missingmoney.com site or unclaimed.org. There are a lot of sound-alike sites. You should never ever pay for an online search. Some sites will let you search for free, but then try to charge you to file a claim. Don't do it!
There is no charge to claim your money except for Texas that charges a 1.5 percent handling fee for claims above $100. States keep the interest that the money earns.