Anyone go a little overboard with their holiday shopping? Unclaimed money can be a way to pay off some of those credit card bills for some folks. Unclaimed money or unclaimed property are made up of lost or abandoned accounts containing cash and or items. These accounts can be lost bank accounts, gift cards, stocks, bonds, insurance payouts or even physical property from safe deposit boxes. Once a period of time has past where the accounts are inactive or unclaimed, the funds must be turned over to the state where the money or property resides.
Once turned over, most states will hold onto the money indefinitely waiting for the rightful owners to claim it! The best part is that searching is free and you can usually claim your property right on the states websites. Each state has different laws and procedures when it comes to claiming, so be sure to check out each of our state pages for the right way to claim.
Unclaimed Money – Too Good To Be True?
This definitely sounds like a scam, heck we thought it was a scam the first time we discovered it, but unclaimed money IS REAL!! In total there is estimated over $70 billion in state and federal accounts waiting to be claimed and that total rises every year. Here are some tips when it comes to searching:
- Check for common misspellings of your name
- Check for deceased relatives – if you are a rightful heir you can claim on their behalf!
- Shorten your search criteria – type just the first 3-4 letters of your name
- Search all the states you have lived in.
Be Careful Of Paid Searching
There are some websites that will offer a paid option when it comes to searching – many of them have ‘exclusive databases’ that they say will give greater results. In our experience, the state databases are far and away the best way to find unclaimed money. With a little bit of practice and using search strategies you will be an expert in searching in no time. There are some states that allow individuals to search and claim for you for a percentage. However those are almost always private investigators and their fees are capped based on each states laws.
Doing a little bit of research can help you find that unclaimed money or property that can be a little extra cash in your pocket!