Do You Have Unclaimed Money?
Did you know that there are billions of dollars of unclaimed money in the United States? Could some of it be yours? This money includes checking and savings accounts, apartment security deposits, uncashed overtime checks, lost insurance refunds, retirement funds and much more!
Most unclaimed money is held by the states. State law requires banks, brokerage firms and other companies that handle people’s money to turn unclaimed funds over to the state for safekeeping if they are unable to find the rightful owners of these funds.
Most states participate in a program called MissingMoney (http://www.missingmoney.com/ ) and I suggest that you search there first. Even if you have searched in the past you will want to search again as their database gets updated weekly. I just searched to prepare for this blog post and I actually have some missing money waiting for me to claim!
You may also link to all state databases individually from this Web site http://www.unclaimed.org/what/. Don’t worry these sites are FREE and don’t require much personal information to find out whether you have any money. I only had to provide my name and state to see that I had some unclaimed funds. If you do have money they will tell you the next steps to take to obtain the money.
You can also search missing money by individual account websites for which you may have money. For example, if you know you had a bank account but forget which bank or when it was you had it, you can always check the FDIC website. See the list of individual sites below and make sure you are typing in the correct address (.gov not .com etc).
Retirement Funds: Have you worked several jobs? Maybe you have left some pension or 401K Money behind at your old job. Check sites like https://www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com/
Savings Bonds: Did you ever get a Savings Bond when you were a kid? Check the Savings Bonds Government website to find out www.savingsbonds.gov/indiv/tools/tools_treasuryhunt.htm. (Note: This is a .gov not a .com)
Pensions: www.pbgc.gov to go directly to the search page go here http://search.pbgc.gov/mp/
Bank Accounts: Check the FDIC for old bank funds they may have of yours: www.FDIC.com
Tax Return Money: Missing Tax Returns can be found at www.IRS.gov
Social Security: Missing or unclaimed Social Security Checks can be found at www.ssa.gov
Claiming money is easy, If you find unclaimed money online, most states let you click a link and claim the money right there and then. You will receive a check within weeks.
TIP: Beware of “Missing Money Finders”. There are hundreds of people called “finders” who have made a business of searching for unclaimed funds for other people and then contacting them to say they’ve found money and will only reveal where and how much if the recipient agrees to give them a cut. Don’t fall for it. Don’t pay for information you can look up for free in 10 minutes!
Other Types of Money You May be Missing…….
Lottery Tickets: Do you have tickets around the house (I know I have some I never checked)? Make sure you check them! Most states I believe you have a year to claim the money. Bring them all to a store with the lottery checker machine (my local slot parlor has one) and you can scan them all yourself to find out if you are a winner. Do not wait to find out you “could” have won.
Gift Certificates/Gift Cards: Each state is different but most of the time Gift Certificates/Gift Cards do not expire. Check your wallet!
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