Do You Know Where to Look for Unclaimed Funds? Find Out

Unclaimed funds are money or other assets that have been abandoned or are otherwise unclaimed by the owner. In the United States, there is an estimated $58 billion in unclaimed funds, according to the NAUPA. State governments hold the majority of unclaimed funds, but there are also unclaimed funds at the federal level and in private hands.

There are several reasons why someone might have unclaimed funds. For example, a person might forget about a bank account or other asset or move and not leave a forwarding address. In other cases, a person might die without heirs or next of kin to claim their assets. If you think you might have unclaimed funds, check out these sources:

Securities and Payments from the Treasury

The U.S. Treasury is responsible for safeguarding billions of dollars worth of securities and payments. Each year, however, a small percentage of these assets go unclaimed. Therefore, the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service maintains a searchable database of unclaimed properties, including unclaimed securities and payments.

Individuals can search the database by their name or Social Security number to see if they have unclaimed assets. They can submit a claim form to the Treasury if there is a match. The claim process can take up to six months, but it is free of charge. The individual will receive their unclaimed assets through a check or direct deposit after approval.

Refunds from HUD/FHA Insurance

As a homeowner, you might have a mortgage insurance refund if you meet specific criteria. For example, you might have unclaimed funds if you have paid off your mortgage or refinance into a non-FHA loan. Additionally, if your home has increased in value, you may qualify for a partial refund of your insurance premium.

Credit Union Unclaimed Shares

If you were a credit union member that has since merged or closed, you might be entitled to unclaimed shares. These are funds left behind when the credit union faces dissolution, and they may be sitting in an account at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). You can search the NCUA's database using your name and address to find out if you have any unclaimed shares.

You must provide proof of your identity and entitlement to the funds if there is a match. Once approved, you will receive a check for the amount owed to you. Although it may take some effort to track down your unclaimed shares, it is well worth it as this money rightfully belongs to you.

National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators

NAUPA is a professional organization representing state administrators who oversee the return of unclaimed property to its rightful owners. NAUPA started operations in 1954 and has grown to include members from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The organization's primary mission is to promote the efficient and effective administration of unclaimed property laws.

NAUPA provides training and resources for its member administrators, advocates for stronger unclaimed property laws, and raises awareness about the issue among the public. Thanks to the efforts of NAUPA and its members, rightful owners of billions of dollars in the unclaimed property receive them every year.

Individual State Unclaimed Asset Web Sites

Each state has its unclaimed property website, where you can search for your name or businesses associated with you. While claiming your assets will vary from state to state, it is generally a straightforward process. So if you think you may have some unclaimed money out there, check your state's website today.

Unclaimed Funds from Bankruptcy Cases

When someone files for bankruptcy, the court may grant a discharge of all debts that were eligible for discharge. However, certain debts, such as child support or alimony payments, student loans, taxes, and criminal fines, are not dischargeable. If the debtor has any assets, such as a house or a car, the court may order to sell the assets to pay off creditors. In such a case, unclaimed money is the amount left over after selling assets.

Unclaimed funds in bankruptcy go to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ then holds these funds for four years before returning them to the debtor. The DOJ will keep the money if the debtor does not claim the funds within four years. The DOJ uses unclaimed funds to pay for expenses related to bankruptcy cases, such as court fees and trustee fees. It also pays creditors owed the money but not listed on the debtor's bankruptcy petition. To file a claim, you must provide proof of your identity and Social Security number.

If you're curious about whether or not you have any unclaimed funds, remember to check out the sources listed above. However, each source has guidelines every individual should know before searching for unclaimed money. The beauty is that they are legitimate sources and easy to follow.

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