Ways to Find Your Unclaimed Assets and Take Them Back Before It's Too Late
A conservative estimate recently conducted by Considerable.com suggests that Americans now have more than $100 billion in unclaimed assets currently being held by state officials! These states would be more than happy to keep your hard-earned money to fund their own programs. However, chances are that you could put that money to much better use!
So, what is an "unclaimed asset", exactly? In short, it's anything that is rightfully your property but has not been given to you. This happens often when you're willed money, but no attorney is paid to present it to you. It also happens when your "class" in a class action suit wins and you're owed money. Remember, some states have a statute of limitations that guarantees the state will own your unclaimed assets permanently, so make sure you act fast! Here are the latest ways to ensure you have all your own property!
Isn't There a Federal Database?
While a federal database would be nice, unfortunately, states' definitions of "unclaimed assets" vary considerably. That's why every state and American territory have their own search engines. However, one trending startup has taken care of a lot of the legwork for you!
Finally, A Consolidated Database of Unclaimed Assets
There is a database available free, named "Missing Money", to the public. It covers 40 states, Puerto Rico, and even some Canadian provinces. However, the main downside is that this database only contains unclaimed property. There are many different types of "unclaimed" assets, but we'll show you exactly how to check for those below!
You'll need to provide a few personal details to check these records. Remember, these records are public in 40 states and not publicly available in 10 states due to privacy regulations. The site has a full list of states covered. If yours isn't covered, it will have a search engine that requires you to verify your identity, but you will not be deprived of your right to reclaim your own property!
Other Types of Unclaimed Assets
Unfortunately, "unclaimed property" isn't a catch-all. It may help some a great deal, but if you have no luck with that search engine, there are many different types of unclaimed assets that you may be able to claim.
The Department of Labor of the US Government publicly lists class-action suits it is a plaintiff of. This is every civil lawsuit regarding unpaid or underpaid wages. If you previously worked at a company and were laid off or quit but never got that final check, chances are that your money is available through the Department of Labor! Just check out their database located here.
Another federal agency, the FDIC, works to protect consumers from predatory banks. You've likely heard about lawsuits, fines, and more actions levied against banks in the news. Especially if you had money in a bank that was stolen, or the bank itself closed, your money is now available online (starting in 2020). Just check the fully automated database here!
Other Workplace Assets
With all the news of Sears closing stores and potentially denying workers pensions, these sources have cropped up to combat this abuse of your rights. An agency you may not have heard of, known as the "PBGC", oversees the payment of promised pensions and other retirement plans that don't fall under a standardized IRS plan. If you were promised a pension and denied it, there's a very high chance that it's now available from the PBGC database right here!
If a loved one served in the Armed Forces and has passed away, we are very sorry for your loss. To help mitigate that, you may or may not have known that the Office of Veterans' Affairs provides free and automatic life insurance for all service-members, even after they've finished their tours of duty. You are entitled to a life insurance claim, free of charge to you. Check into the database the VA provides here to see if you're eligible for this.
The list of unclaimed assets seems to grow significantly every year. This is quite odd, since it's never been easier to claim them! Keep following us to keep up with the latest trends in reclaiming your own property from government agencies that have done nothing to earn your money!