Have you ever wondered if you have unclaimed money sitting somewhere? There's a very real possibility that you do. An unknown safe deposit box or life insurance policy could be sitting somewhere just waiting for you to claim it. The question is how do you find it?
Sadly, there is no central unclaimed money database. You will have to engage in some detective work to locate potential funds. The good news is modern technology has made the task a little easier.
The easiest way to locate unclaimed money is to visit Unclaimed.org. This website provides links to various agencies in all 50 states. I recently told a friend of mine about this resource and she located $146.90 in unclaimed money owed to her daughter from a defunct savings account.
Unclaimed money is protected under property laws. Each state must abide by these laws and hold the money for a specified period of time to ensure dormant assets are returned to their rightful owner. If individuals do not claim funds within the timeframe, the state gains ownership.
When searching for unclaimed money it is important to search under married names, maiden names and any aliases that you have used. Be certain to research your names in every state where you have resided.
Heirs of decedents can locate unclaimed money by searching for deceased relatives names. If funds are located, you will be required to provide a copy of the decedent's Last Will and Testament to prove you are entitled to unclaimed money or property.
Unclaimed money is held by various government agencies. Depending on the state where you reside these funds can be held by the Department of Revenue, State Treasurer, State Controller or Department of Commerce.
In order to locate these websites type in the name of the state and one of the agencies listed above. For example, California Department of Revenue. Or, search for "California unclaimed money".
Individuals who have had an FHA-insured mortgage through HUD might be entitled to a refund. Conduct research for unclaimed money through HUDs website at HUD.gov. All that is required is to enter your last name or case number.
Some organizations provide a service to locate unclaimed money on your behalf. Most charge an upfront fee, along with a percentage of funds found. Unless you believe you are entitled to a large sum of money, it is generally best to avoid these types of endeavors.
Should you decide to go this route consider using a service such as Cash Unclaimed. This company charges a one-time fee for unlimited searches of their database for 30 days. Currently, the fee is $29; however, at the time of this writing the company is offering this service for $11.
Locating unclaimed money is exciting! It is estimated 9 out of 10 Americans are entitled to cash and property sitting in government databases or warehouses. Don't let your money or property go to waste. Take time to investigate. You might be surprised to discover a windfall.
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Published on October 27, 2009 at 02:02 AM
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