Personal Finance 

How to Find Your Missing Money

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Monopoly MoneyA few years ago, I learned about how there are billions of dollars belonging to every day citizens locked away in state coffers. When bank accounts are abandoned or security deposits are unclaimed, the bank or the landlord doesn’t get to keep the cash. Most of the time, it gets sent to the state. CNN reported that last year a Connecticut resident claimed $32.8 million from shares of stock they successfully claimed and that there are currently around $58 billion in unclaimed funds just sitting there to be claimed.

As you would expect, there are businesses that will happily charge you a fee to help you reclaim your money but that’s unnecessary. Simply go to my post about searching for unclaimed money & property, find each of the states you lived in, and do a quick search. Or, you can use, which is privately run but does not charge you anything for using it.

Then, follow the simple instructions (usually involves you proving you are the rightful owner of the property by using your license and a notarized document) and wait. I haven’t hit the jackpot yet myself, which I suppose is a good thing, but I did receive some missing money a few years ago (under $100 – but my money is still my money).

Have you looked for missing money before? I’d love to hear some fantastic success story about someone finding like $5,000. 🙂

(Photo: jDevaun)

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “How to Find Your Missing Money”

  1. I haven’t ever looked for money before. I shouldn’t have anything out there and even if I did it would be a very very small amount of money from a forgotten bank account with $20 in it. Actually I bet the bank charged fees to get whatever was left.

  2. DMoney says:

    I wonder if there’s some kind of sunset clause or deadline to claim some of these unclaimed funds.

    Can the state set this money in an interest-bearing account or something? Seems like a waste if it’s just sitting there.

  3. Melissa says:

    I looked up my close family’s names. We found $100 paycheck from my husband’s old employer. It was easy to retrieve and we only waited about a month to obtain the check. I’m glad to know that we don’t have other money just hanging-out.

  4. I always check these but theres nothing for me 🙁

  5. Cash Simpson says:

    I checked mine and found $188 from an old Sears check that never found its way to me. Thanks!

  6. @Lance: Once the bank turns the money over to the state, the bank no longer has control of it and cannot charge you. Everyone thinks it doesn’t apply to them but there’s almost $42 BILLION dollars. It belongs to somebody. Just look! You may be surprised.

    @DMoney: A few states pay interest to the owner of the funds. Most use the interest in the unclaimed property account to fund the unclaimed property program. There is no limit on when you or the heir can claim the money except for Indiana that keeps your money after 25 years.

    @ everyone else: Look at least once a year because new listings are added all the time. Just because you found money once, or didn’t find any, doesn’t mean there won’t be something added later.
    Happy treasure hunting!!

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