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How To Find Missing Money

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    How To Find Missing Money

    Billions of dollars - yes, that's a "B" - in cash and property go unclaimed each year and it's quite possible that a portion of that may be yours. While the chances of finding a lottery size amount of money are slim, finding several hundred dollars is common. Estimates are that as many as 1 out of every 8 people in the US have an unclaimed asset lying around somewhere. Assets get lost for any number of reasons, but it's usually a result of a move, a change of jobs, a change of name through marriage or when a relative dies. The question is how do you go about finding out if one of the lost assets out there is yours?

    Many people first become aware that there may be money for them that they didn't know about through snail or electronic mail. There are a growing number of businesses that search public databases for unclaimed property and attempt to locate the owners. When they do, they typically send a correspondence to the property owner saying that for a finder's fee of 20% to 30%, they will reunite the two.

    There are also a number of business working on the Internet that have compiled databases on unclaimed assets. These companies usually charge a fee (usually around $20) for a search, or let you search for free, but then charge you a fee to get access to information if your name is in their database. Either way, you have to cough up money on the chance that there is some money for you with no guarantee that the money is yours. What all these companies don't want you to know is that all the information they use is available to you free of charge.

    States currently hold in trust over $35 billion in unclaimed assets. To try and reunite these assets to their rightful owners, states have their own individual unclaimed asset website or belong to a free online database at which is sponsored by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. This database holds the unclaimed asset records of about a quarter of the states and the District of Columbia.

    While most people simply type in their name and possibly the names of a few family members, to really get the most out of the system and create the best chance of finding unclaimed assets, you should take a few minutes to jot down some information before diving into the searches. First, make a list of all the different states where you have lived or held a job. Next, make a list of all deceased relatives with the states where they lived and worked. Once you have this information, you can begin to type your or your deceased relative's name into the appropriate state's unclaimed asset search engine to see if a matching name comes up.

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    If a matching name does appear, you can usually begin the reclaiming process right on the site. There are also a number of federal government sites that hold unclaimed assets of which you may not have been aware. These include savings bonds, government-guaranteed mortgage insurance refunds and pensions. There currently is no central database to search for these federal missing funds, so you'll have to check the different government agency sites to see if any is holding money in your or a relative's name.

    So what are you waiting for? It doesn't cost a penny to search any of the sites listed below and only takes a few clicks of the mouse to find out if you, too, have some money out there that you didn't know about.



    <a href="" target=_new></a>: National free search database that includes the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    The following states are sheduled to have their data moved to their site in the coming months: Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington

    <a href="" target="_new">Alabama</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Alaska</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Arizona</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Arkansas</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">California</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Colorado</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Connecticut</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Delaware</a>
    <a href=",a,1326,q,590719,.asp" target="_new">District of Columbia</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Florida</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Georgia</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Hawaii</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Idaho</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Illinois</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Indiana</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Iowa</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Kansas</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Kentucky</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Louisiana</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Maine</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Maryland</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Massachusetts</a>
    <a href=",1607,7-121-1748_1876_1912---,00.html" target="_new">Michigan</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Minnesota</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Mississippi</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Montana</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Nebraska</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Nevada</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">New Hampshire</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">New Jersey</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">New Mexico</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">New York</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">North Carolina</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">North Dakota</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Ohio</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Oklahoma</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Oregon</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Pennsylvania</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Puerto Rico</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Rhode Island</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">South Carolina</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">South Dakota</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Tennessee</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Texas</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Utah</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Vermont</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Virginia</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Washington</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">West Virginia</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Wisconsin</a>
    <a href="" target="_new">Wyoming</a>


    <a href="" target="_new">The National Unclaimed Property Database</a>: Free search database and resource site for over $35 billion of unclaimed money and property held by U.S. federal and state government agencies, Canada and others.

    <a href="" target="_new">Housing And Urban Development</a>: Free search for funds for mortgage insurance obtained by government loan.

    <a href="" target="_new">Pension Search</a>: Free search for funds on retirement accounts.

    <a href="" target="_new">US Savings Bonds</a>: Free search for lost, stolen or destroyed saving bonds.


    <a href="" target="_new">Canada</a>: Free search for unclaimed accounts in Canada.

    <a href="" target="_new">British Columbia</a>: Free search for unclaimed accounts in British Columbia.

    <a href="" target="_new">Swiss Bank Accounts</a>: Claims Resolution Tribunal of the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation against Swiss Banks and other Swiss Entities.
    Last edited by jeffrey; 01-11-2012, 07:53 AM.

    Re: How To Find Missing Money

    I recently discovered that *I* had unclaimed property! ME!!! I had heard about unclaimed property held by state treasury departments on "Dateline NBC" and decided to look into it. Here's what I did:

    I went to the link provided above for Virginia (the only state I've ever lived or worked in), which took me to the VA Dept of the Treasury's unclaimed property website. From there I clicked on the "Unclaimed Property Search" link to see if there was anything under any of my names.

    I say "names" because I've actually had three names at different points of my life. Jennifer Maiden Name, Jennifer Ex-Husband's Surname, and Jennifer Current Husband's Surname. I searched under all three and got a hit for Jennifer Ex-Husband's Surname. The city of the last known address was Centreville, VA -- the last place I lived before we divorced and I moved to Richmond. Since his surname is quite unusual, I was 100% positive the unclaimed property -- listed as "Over $100" -- was mine. YAY!

    I then submitted an inquiry online, which took only a minute to fill out. About two weeks later I got a letter in the mail which asked me to send in documentation to verify I was who I said I was so I could claim the property. This letter also gave the full address of the last known address, and when I saw that I knew it was mine! However, the tricky thing for me was being able to provide documentation which showed both my previously married name AND the Centreville address, from 1999 (I only lived there for one year). After the divorce I lost a lot of paperwork from that period and didn't really have anything on hand that I could send.

    But my current auto insurance is with the same company I had used back in 1999, so I asked them to send me a copy of an old auto insurance policy that showed both my old name and address. I sent that along with a copy of my current and old drivers licenses and SSN card back to the Unclaimed Property division, then crossed my fingers.

    Well, about two weeks after that I got a check for $103.17 in the mail! I'm not exactly sure where the money came from, but I honestly don't care! I'm just pleased that I was able to reclaim it, and so easily. I am very impressed at how streamlined the process was.

    So, if you haven't already -- try it! The worst that can happen is that there's nothing there for you. But if you're lucky, like I was, you might just get a nice surprise!

    ~ Jenney


      Re: How To Find Missing Money

      this is awesome--i checked us out yesterday (nothing, unfortunately) but my parents and grandparents do. Take the time!


        wow, I found something for my brother and cousin


          I have check it and it is quite good

          Have you ever moved without getting your utility deposit back, or forgotten about an old checking or savings account? That money is still yours and you can still get it from your state government. Several states have made finding and recovering unclaimed property much easier with online access to property databases and even online claim forms. This feature is designed to provide you with information about unclaimed (escheat) property and links to all available online state property recovery resources.


            Great information to have - thanks for this!