Claim Your Missing Money Before The State Takes It
You may be the rightful owner of some unclaimed money, and retrieving it may be as easy as clicking through to a few websites and entering your name.
Unclaimed money could come from forgotten utility refunds, insurance payments, abandoned savings accounts, closed checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends, payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, money orders, annuities, trust distributions, certificates of deposit, forgotten safety deposit boxes, customer overpayments and mineral royalty payment.
Whenever the owners of unclaimed money can’t be found, the money is turned over to the state. Money Magazine estimates there is $60 billion in unclaimed money in the United States.
Unfortunately, there are many states currently facing a budget crunch, and the unclaimed money may be too tempting to resist. So now is the time to find out if you have any money that may have been unclaimed that your state is holding. While you are checking, also research deceased parents or siblings to see if they are on the list, since you may have a claim on that money as well.
There are a few other places you also need to check for unclaimed money.
If you have previously had an FHA loan, go to HUD.gov and search their refund database.
If you think there is a chance you might have left some money behind in a retirement plan at a former company, then the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits has a database where employers put the names of employees due retirement benefits that they can’t find. Here is that database.
The United States Treasury gets about 40,000 payments returned each year. They also have billions in savings bonds that have not been cashed. You can search their database here.
Finally, a word of warning. Some scammers are now contacting people, asking for their Social Security numbers to help them find or verify missing money. Never give out this information to someone who contacts you out of the blue. It is safe to do it on these previously-mentioned sites, but not to a complete stranger who contacts you by phone or e-mail.