Unexpected Places to Find Unclaimed Funds

There are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds globally. However, where do you look to find them? It's a question that most people ask when they hear about unclaimed money. The beauty is that the government releases funds whenever the owner files a legit claim.

Most people are unaware that the government doesn't just hold on to unclaimed money. Instead, it keeps it safe after various agencies, banks, and companies have failed to return it to the rightful owner. The following are some places that hold unclaimed funds:

1. Employer Pension Plans

Nearly one in four employer pension plans currently produce unclaimed funds. By extension, billions of dollars sit in dormant accounts. While beneficiaries may eventually claim some of these funds, many remain unclaimed indefinitely. Some unclaimed funds result from errors on the part of employers.

In most cases, employers fail to notify employees of their pension benefits or keep accurate records of employee contributions. As a result, many workers are unaware that they are entitled to a pension benefit. Anyone who believes they may be entitled to a pension benefit should contact their employer and ask about their options.

2. Utility Deposits

Most people are familiar with a security deposit, an amount of money paid upfront to secure utilities like electricity or water. What many people don't realize, however, is that these deposits often go unclaimed. Customers who change providers leave behind billions of dollars in utility deposits annually. The good news is that you can claim the funds by following a few simple steps.

First, contact your previous utility provider and inquire about any unclaimed deposits. Next, check with your state's unclaimed property office to see if they hold any funds on your behalf. Finally, search online databases to see if there are any other sources of unclaimed. By taking these simple steps, you can make sure you claim all the utility deposits you are due.

3. Unclaimed Tax Refunds

According to the IRS, the government owes nearly one in five taxpayers a refund. However, many people are unaware that they are entitled to a refund, and as a result, billions of dollars in unclaimed funds remain unused. To claim a refund, taxpayers must file a return with the IRS. However, the funds remain forfeited if a return goes unclaimed within three years of the due date.

Most unclaimed refunds are for relatively small amounts, but some taxpayers claim thousands of dollars. With interest rates on savings accounts currently at historic lows, unclaimed tax refunds represent a significant opportunity for people to earn extra money. For those owed a refund, it is vital to act quickly to claim the funds before they are gone.

4. Unclaimed Court Deposits

In some instances, the custodian of the deposit may not be able to find the rightful owner, and in others, the owner may not even know that the deposit exists. Regardless of the reason, when these funds remain unclaimed, they become the state's property. Each state has different rules governing the utilization of these funds, but they generally support various state programs and initiatives.

5. Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits

A large portion of unclaimed money comes from unsettled life insurance. Life insurance policies remain unpaid when the policyholder dies, and the beneficiaries are unaware they are entitled to the benefits.

As a result, the life insurance company holds onto the money, eventually becoming unclaimed funds. While it may seem like a long shot, it is worth checking to see if you or your loved ones own unclaimed life insurance benefits. You may be surprised that you are entitled to a sizable sum of money.

6. Lost Stock and Mutual Funds

Billions in stocks and mutual funds belong to an estimated seven million people, unaware that they own them. The vast majority of this unclaimed money is held by investment firms, which are required by law to turn over any abandoned assets to the state after a certain period.

However, many people are unaware of this law, and as a result, they never receive the money that is rightfully theirs. There are several reasons why stock and mutual fund shares may be considered abandoned, such as if the owner dies without heirs or if the owner moves and fails to update their address with the investment firm. With billions of dollars in unclaimed money up for grabs, it's well worth the effort.

These are just some of the places where unclaimed money could be hiding. The best way to find out if you have any unclaimed money is to use various free unclaimed money search channels to access the databases of multiple states and agencies all at once. From there, follow the procedure outlined earlier to file a claim.

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