Is There Money That Is Owed To You?
Imagine finding out that you have money sitting somewhere that is owed to you and to get it all you have to do is fill out a form. This scenario is real for millions of people that have no idea they have unclaimed money in their name. The truth is that you and others may have an untold sum of money that has been long forgotten. In fact, there are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed funds sitting idle in the U.S.
Where Does This Money Come From?
The money comes from all sorts of places. Some of the common sources are bank accounts that include savings, checking, mutual funds and certificates of deposits. There are refunds on government financing programs such as FHA programs, store refunds and gift certificates. There is money from deposits on utilities. Various credit balances in store accounts or unclaimed safe deposit boxes. Pension funds that went dormant when a company closed. Some people never claimed their last wages earned. Residuals from investments in stocks, bonds, property, oil, gas or land right usage. Some are over payments made for products and services. Money sits around from life insurance policies and court payments. Basically, unclaimed money comes from numerous sources.
How Does Money Become Unclaimed?
Money ends up sitting unclaimed largely because the person it belongs to cannot be located. People often do not realize there is any money owed to them. If you have a habit of throwing away mail before reading it, this is another cause. Some people inherit money without ever finding out.
Who Has This Money?
After a period of time, some of this unclaimed money is turned over to the state in which the money resides. Other monies may be lingering in various government departments or at the original source.
It is up to each individual state to manage the collection, storage and handling of any unclaimed money within its borders.
Can The Federal Government Help Find Money?
Not in this instance. Unfortunately, there is no central database that keeps track of these billions.
Where Can You Go To Find Unclaimed Money?
In order to find out if you have hidden money owed to you it is necessary to find resources that gather this information. You can start by searching your state’s treasury department website. Not all states handle it through the treasury. Also look for unclaimed property divisions. A few states have the office of the comptroller or state Attorney General manages these assets.
That is only one place to look. There are several online sites where people can go to conduct a more comprehensive search. There are sites endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) that offer wider access. There are also locator companies that find unclaimed money in exchange for a fee.
In addition to these resources, there are specific places to look such as:
Bank Deposits: FDIC
Credit Union Deposits: National Credit Union Administration
FHA Insurance Refunds: HUD
Foreign Claims: Financial Management Service (U.S. Treasury)
Life Insurance Policies (find state insurance department): National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Pensions: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
Savings Bonds: Treasury Hunt
Stock Investments: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Tax Refunds: IRS
How To Get Money Once It Is Found
If you have done the research and found you have unclaimed money, claiming it is pretty simple. You are required to fill out and submit an official claim form. You will also have to show proof that you are the rightful owner by providing detailed information. Appropriate identification may be requested as well.
Once the officials in charge of unclaimed funds verify this information you will receive payment.
Is The Search Worthwhile?
It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people living in the U.S. is owed some amount of money. This amount could be less than $50 or over $500. Searching can be a rewarding endeavor.