Missing Money UNCLAIMED PROPERTY, for Thousands of American employees and employers. You may have billions of dollars in unclaimed property or lost (Missing Money).
Unclaimed property, also known as abandoned property, is any financial asset or property that has been left inactive or unclaimed by its rightful owner for an extended period of time. This can include bank accounts, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, uncashed checks, and even tangible assets like jewelry or other personal property.
In many cases, the holder of the property, such as a bank or financial institution, is required by law to turn over any unclaimed property to the state’s unclaimed property program. These programs are designed to safeguard and return lost or abandoned property to its rightful owners.
If you think you may have unclaimed property, you can search for it using the unclaimed property database in the state where the property was held. You may need to provide some personal information to verify your identity and claim the property.
It’s important to check for unclaimed property regularly, as it can be easy to forget about assets you may have left behind or lost track of. By claiming your unclaimed property, you can put your money and assets to good use, rather than letting them sit idle and potentially be absorbed by the state.
Anybody who has worked for any amount of time at one stage or another has had an employer contribute Missing Money funds deposited into one of the many hundreds of Missing Money funds now operating In Australia. Have you kept track of all the funds deposited into your fund?
Like most of us, you have had a least 4 to 8 full-time or part-time jobs in your career, and with each job, you have had added to a Missing Money fund normally decided by your employee. Each year you may get a notice from the fund stating how much money you have invested with them and now you should also get a statement on your pay slip, stating how much has been deposited in your fund.
But nonetheless, most of us would have no idea how much lost or unclaimed Missing Money we have and even less knowledge of who is managing it and who is the funds with.
But, you can now find out and in most cases it totally free to find it. If you don’t have the time to find it yourself you could employ a company to do it for you, and pay their fee. Or you could go online, go to the Unclaimed website, and do a search for unclaimed or lost Missing Money. Then add your details and they will tell you exactly how much you have and where it is.
The Americans Tax Office has a service they call Seeker which searches the Unclaimed database for contributions made by you based on your personal tax file number. The greatest benefit of this service is that it can be done online and in real-time.
To find Missing Money you may have forgotten about or just weren’t sure of the amount, You will need your tax File Number, date of birth, and your full name.
It’s your money, so go and get it:
There is no questioning that the amount of unclaimed money or property being held by both State and Federal agencies is staggering and growing each year – the current estimate is believed to be in excess of $40 BILLION.
The Cash_straped States.
On the prowl for new sources of revenue, cash-strapped States might be pouncing on UNCLAIMED PROPERTY by shortening the ‘dormancy’ period of most abandoned properties and strictly enforcing their statutes for holders or companies to transfer over these funds to the State’s custody. If a state audit discovers the company has been under-reporting funds, faces stiff fines. As a result in the past few years, millions of unclaimed accounts worth over $ billion are transferred to the States each year.
With all that said, the emergence of Unclaimed Money websites has appeared on the Internet hoping to gain from such. Some are legit and do offer valuable services and information to assist one in locating an unclaimed or lost asset. However, many offer a useless, misleading, and costly service especially those that market themselves as “FREE” and “INSTANT” searches.
Here is the 3-prong trap and how it works:
There is NO National database for unclaimed accounts. Every State has its own Unclaimed Property Division and each Federal agency handles its own unclaimed accounts. All of the former and many of the latter have online databases for one to search.
The websites have collected a few million names with unclaimed accounts from States’ online databases which can be readily done with software that converts the online information into their own database.
Even though these sites have only processed/collated only 5 million +/- accounts, their database will likely have 90%+ of all American last/surnames.
One is asked to insert your name into their search box…and the “Instant’ result says there is i.e.) $25,000 of unclaimed money in your name.
Well, there can be many/hundreds of others with your name and their software generates various spellings, variations of the first name, or numerous first initials i.e.) if your name was Cathy Stevens, the query results would include: C. Stevens, Kathy Stevens, and K. Stevens, or if the name was William Smith, the query results would include Will Smith, Bill Smith, Billy Smith, W. Smith, and B. Smith. The website’s software aggregates all amounts due under these variations to inflate the dollar amount…luring one into subscribing.
The 2nd tier of the trap is more serious. They purport that they normally charge i.e.) $29.95 for a single search, but a special promotion allows unlimited searches for 30 days for only $12.95 – a deal right?! First of all, to conduct a thorough search, one needs to be checking regularly to find any lost assets. One’s unclaimed asset may not be transferred to the State and placed into its database.
One needs to have unrestricted access to the appropriate and current databases. Note again, these websites’ databases are not only restricted but also incomplete and not updated.
You will be charged?
It gets better/worse. If one does not read the terms and conditions, you will be charged $29.95 at the end of the 30-day period if you do not cancel the subscription. Based on one’s credit card billing cycle, one may not see the second charge (assuming you forgot to cancel) in your statement until still another $29.95 is charged to your credit card.
Last, some of these services purport a 100% Money Back Guarantee.
One gets his subscription back if the State says the unclaimed account found in their database is not yours. Their database information came from the State’s database.
The information that accompanies the unclaimed account will definitely tell one if it is yours. One only gets a refund if the State refuses to return your rightful account.
That is not legally possible. The guarantee is worthless. Plus any written correspondence to the State could take 4-6 months to confirm that the unclaimed account was never yours. These websites are banking on one will not follow through and not bother to submit for the ‘Money Back Guarantee’ refund after 4-6 months.
Here are the sites that offer such service and have the same limited, incomplete, and not the current database. They mask themselves under various URLs and affiliates but appear to be the same according to ‘Whois’.
There are websites that offer a valuable service for assisting one in locating unclaimed or lost money or property. Just be cautious of the above services and their costly traps. The only truly thorough search is to have access to all the States and other databases and search regularly. 30-day access to a limited and incomplete database is a waste of money. One unclaimed property may not be transferred to a State or other government agency and listed in its online database.
Find money owed:
Unless you won the lottery this week you would probably be excited to find money owed to you. Unclaimed money and property in excess of $25 Billion are being held by the government and are just waiting to be claimed.
You may be thinking, ‘I have never forgotten about the money owed to me’, this may be true, but what about the monies you are not aware of? i.e. an inheritance or savings bond. Oprah Winfrey stated 9 out of 10 Americans have unclaimed money.
So why is this money just sitting around? Chances are you haven’t heard about unclaimed money, there is a lack of public awareness, and no simple method for searching and claiming lost funds.
The most common types of Unclaimed Property are:
· Savings and checking accounts and safe deposit box contents
· Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
· Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders
· IRS refunds
· Wages, child support payments
· Matured or terminated insurance policies
· Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts
· The list goes on and on…
One of the most impressive unclaimed items is an 88-carat natural blue sapphire ring valued at over $25,000! Recently a widow found over $50,000 owed to her from an account her deceased husband had opened that she was not even aware existed.
The property ends up in government accounts due to laws requiring the property to be turned over to the state or other governing agency after a period of approximately 3 years without contact from the owner.
Oftentimes the owner moves and does not leave a forwarding address or forgets that the account exists. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.
The amount of unclaimed cash is growing. It has almost doubled the 15.8 billion in lost funds recorded in 2000. The increase is not only due to public awareness but also attributed to each state recording the money in individual databases.
Finding Your Unclaimed Money:
So how do you search and find money owed to you? Each state has its own database but it is not enough to search only the state where you reside.
If you have conducted business with companies outside the state, the funds may be reported in the state where the business was located. Also, a state search will not locate missing money in 90 federal databases. This makes searching difficult because you may have unclaimed cash in a state in which you have never lived.
You also need to search for variations of your name. For example, if your name is Michael James Anderson an account might be under M Anderson, M J Anderson, or Michael Anderson.
This can be a time-consuming and tedious process to locate and search over 120 databases. The most comprehensive government site only incorporates 14 states into its database. This search would still produce incomplete results and you may miss money owed to you.
Comprehensive Unclaimed Money Searches:
It is worth the small fee to utilize a private site that has compiled all state and government databases.
After you have completed your search by name you will be given results from the database. It may contain multiple records, some of which are not yours.
The record will normally have details on the property, the value, the institution the funds originated from, the owner’s address, etc. You should be able to tell which accounts are yours from a quick look at these details.
What to do when you find the money
After locating your missing money follow the directions to submit the claim. The claim process varies slightly depending on the type of account or state of a claim.
Typically, the process of claiming unclaimed money involves completing and submitting a form or affidavit, along with copies of relevant identification documents or account information. This can vary depending on the state and the type of property being claimed.
With ongoing initiatives to raise awareness about unclaimed funds, an increasing number of Americans are discovering and recovering their lost assets. In fact, more than $1 billion in unclaimed funds was returned to their rightful owners last year alone. These funds can come from a variety of sources, including forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, unclaimed insurance policies, and other types of abandoned property.
It’s important to note that unclaimed property laws vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to check with the state’s unclaimed property program to see what documentation is required and what the process entails. Additionally, it’s wise to be cautious of any companies that offer to help you recover unclaimed property for a fee, as many state programs offer these services free of charge.
If you suspect that you may have unclaimed funds, it’s worth taking the time to search for them. You can start by checking the unclaimed property database in the state where the property was held, as well as reaching out to financial institutions, insurance companies, and other relevant entities. With a little effort, you may be able to recover the “Missing Money” that rightfully belongs to you.
It is likely you or your immediate family members have unclaimed money or property.
Now that you are aware it exists and know how to find and claim it, you can search for what is owed to you!
Unclaimed Money and unclaimed property searches are conducted by most Americans on an annual, if not biannual, basis. With over $25 billion in unclaimed money in the United States most people find the money for themselves or one of their immediate family members. Unfortunately, if the search is not done thoroughly you may miss money owed to you.
Here are 5 tips to help you search for your unclaimed money:
1 – Search for variations of your name
For example, a person named William J. Smith may have money under W. Smith, Bill Smith, W J Smith, etc. Search all possible name variations to ensure the unclaimed money account was not listed under a variation of your name.
2 – Look in ALL state and federal databases
The missing funds are reported in state and federal databases. You may have money in any of the over 54 databases. Even if you have only lived in one state you may still have money in another state’s database.
If you were owed money from a life insurance policy from a company in New York, that company may report the money in the New York state database. An inheritance may be in the benefactor’s state database. If you search only your state of residency you may miss money owed to you.
3 – Know all past addresses of the person whose name you are searching
When you do a missing money search you will be given the results that match the searched name. The results may not all be an accurate match. You will have to search the results based on your name and past address or account information. It could be under any address the person had in their lifetime.
4 – Use a quality, all-in-one database
To search all state and federal databases would take a tremendous amount of time and you would most likely give up before you completed all of the searches. It is much more efficient to use an all-in-one database. There are many of these databases but make sure you use a QUALITY database. What makes a “QUALITY” database? A quality database is one that is constantly updated, which will update new missing money accounts reported and will remove claimed accounts. It will also include ALL state and federal databases.
There is a site called missingmoney.com that includes 30 states and is updated frequently. Cash Unclaimed includes over 54 databases and has round a clock research team dedicated to updates for the database. www.cashunclaimed.com is the only site with patent-pending Name Match technology. Name match will automatically search all name variations of the searched name! This takes the work out of it for the user.
5 – Follow through with the claim process for all found money accounts
Once you locate the money owed to you print the necessary forms and make copies of the ID or documents needed to process the claim. Usually, the required forms are a driver’s license or a death or birth certificate and you may need to fill out a claim form or two. This process should only take you about 15 minutes or so. Then send in the claim forms! If the claims forms aren’t sent in you’ll never get the money that’s owed to you.
Following these simple tips when searching for your share of the nation’s unclaimed money will greatly increase your found accounts and make sure none are overlooked. Search and find how much is owed to you today!
Cash Unclaimed is the largest unclaimed property database, including all state and federal databases. CashUnclaimed.com was founded to assist owners in easily locating and claiming their lost funds. The site offers more information on unclaimed money and a free search at www.ncua.gov/support-services/conservatorships-liquidations/unclaimed-deposits/unclaimed-deposits-listing