Finding Your Unclaimed Assets Just Became a Whole Lot Easier
With billions lost per year due to unclaimed assets, governments and organizations have been silently profiting since the dawn of society. With more in need of money than any other time in recorded American history, it's especially important that everyone is able to check on what assets they may still be owed.
Thankfully, there's a new way to find your assets. While searching state databases is always an option, this method will save time and may be able to find even more than some state-run sites. Remember, about 10% of Americans are still owed assets they could easily claim but are simply unaware! Here's how to make sure that assets that are legally yours don't end up in the hands of the government, who would be more than happy to receive them.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is a recently-formed organization with a simple goal: getting you money that's legally been available to you all along!
They cover all types of claimable property, including but not limited to: Certificates of Deposit (CDs), trust funds, security deposits for rentals, various types of annuities, and tangible property. Whether you're owed $1.00 from your grandfather overpaying taxes 20 years ago or have a hidden family fortune, it's more important now than ever to take charge of your assets.
Using NAUPA's Website
You may have heard of conventional tricks to find states' unclaimed asset sites. For example, some people recommend just using a search engine to find each individual state's database. However, the issue with this approach is that many states intentionally divide different types of unclaimed property into different sites in the hopes of you not being able to find and claim assets.
Another common approach is to use the MissingMoney.com tool. This serves as a search engine of various state databases. There's nothing wrong with using this in conjunction with NAUPA's tool; it's equally efficient and easy to use. However, MissingMoney could miss key items that NAUPA doesn't.
First, visit NAUPA's website at Unclaimed.org. You'll be presented with an interactive slideshow of the services they have to offer. Each slide has different content and can be overwhelming, but there's a button on each slide. Each button has slightly varying text, but they all lead to the same page.
After you've clicked a button from the NAUPA's slideshow, you'll be directed to a special, time-sensitive page. Read more about their special COVID-19 resource page in the next section.
NAUPA's COVID-19 Response
Since many are currently struggling financially, NAUPA has constructed a COVID-19 page located here. Note that it's a work in progress, so not all states and Canadian provinces. It has critical information about states' new orders and laws regarding unclaimed assets due to COVID-19. For example, many governments have suspended their statutes of limitations on claiming lost property to take some of the burden off of social support nets.
Navigating the NAUPA General Map
If you're simply looking for unclaimed property, not whether your state has extended its "deadline" to claim property, then head over to their main map page located here. In addition to interesting statistics, there's a user-friendly map that goes state-by-state.
The NAUPA map can also help you avoid a common pitfall among those looking to find their unclaimed assets: only searching for one state. Remember, these assets could be in any state where you or a relative have ever lived, so being thorough during the search is key. Once you see the map, you should click on the state in which you currently live and go back from there. Clicking on any state will take you directly to the state's primary unclaimed asset search engine.
Things to Keep in Mind
At the end of the day, there's a high likelihood that you're owed something. States have no obligation to directly inform you of this in most cases, so the only possible way is to do a full search. Of course, there will always be a chance that information wasn't recorded correctly, leading to your searches turning up empty.
The best way to approach it is to use multiple tools. MissingMoney.com is a great "one and done" search engine that can tell US-based users whether they're owed assets. Combined with the new NAUPA tool, you're equipped with all the knowledge and tools you need to make that final determination!
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