How much money are you missing?
Remember reaching into a pocket and finding a $10 bill? You look at it in amazement wondering how you could have forgotten it. What if you found more than that? A lot more!
With $41.7 billion dollars nationwide in unclaimed property, chances are some of it might belong to you.
The more places you’ve lived, and the longer you lived, the greater your chances of finding unclaimed property.
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.
Here’s how to start your search:
Go to www.unclaimed.org and enter your name. Search every state you’ve ever lived in under every name you’ve ever used. Don’t forget to look up your family members including the deceased.
There is an orange tab at the top of the home page. Click on if for Other Places for Unclaimed Property. You’ll find connections to:
- US Savings Bonds— There are 40 million forgotten matured 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.
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation— Unclaimed traditional retirement accounts worth a total of $280 million wait for the owner to claim them. There’s also a single listing for more than $700,000! Look for your deceased family members. If you’re an heir or the designated beneficiary, you may be able to claim it.
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Click the link for information about possible FHA refunds.
- IRS for tax refunds that were returned because of a bad address.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) — Find unclaimed funds for insured deposits that were issued and undeliverable or never cashed.
- 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.
- 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 because new listings are added all the time.
There is no charge to search using unclaimed.org or the federal sites. 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.
States hold the money indefinitely until the rightful owner or heir claims it, except for Indiana that only holds it for 25 years. After that, Indiana takes possession of it and you lose the right to it.
Speaker and author Mary Pitman, known as The Missing Money Lady, has appeared on Good Morning America, America’s Money Class with Suze Orman, The John Tesh Radio Network, CNNMoney and dozens of radio shows. For additional sites and search tips you’d never think of check out her book, The Little Book of Missing Money: A Quick and Easy Guide to Finding Money that is Rightfully Yours. Download a free copy of the chapter “Finder’s Fees … To Pay or Not to Pay,” by going to her Web site: www.TheLittleBookOfMissingMoney.com.