Unclaimed Money: How to Get Your Forgotten or Lost Money without Breaking the Bank
- Author: Mary Singleton
- Posted: 2022-09-30
Everyone knows that feeling of frantically searching for something you know you had just a second ago. You look in all the usual places, but it's nowhere to be found. Eventually, you give up and go on with your day, resigned to the fact that you'll never see it again.
But, what if you discover a way to find that missing something? What if you found out that that missing something was money, and it's out there just waiting for you, forgotten in some government office?
It may sound too good to be true, but, every year, millions of people find out they have unclaimed money waiting for them. And, in most cases, all it takes is one quick search on the internet. Find out if you're one of these lucky people. Here's a quick step-by-step how:
1. Go to Your State's Unclaimed Money Official Website
Most states have an official website where you can go check for unclaimed money. You can find the link for this on your state's main website. A simple google search can work wonders, but if you're unsure, you can also contact your state's treasury office or department of revenue.
2. Search for Your Name or the Name of Your Business
Once you're on the website, look for a search bar. Enter your name or the name of your business into this search bar. If you can't find a search bar, check the website's FAQ page for instructions on how to search the database.
3. Look Through the Results
The results will show you a list of all the money currently unclaimed in your state. Each result will show you the following:
- The amount of money,
- The name of the person or business owed the money, and
- A brief description of why the money remains unclaimed
4. Research Each Result
Once you find a promising result, ensure it's legitimacy with further research. Some sample research methods you can try are:
- Researching the company's name on Google to see if anyone has reported it as a scam,
- Visiting the company's website to see if it looks legitimate, and
- Contacting the company directly to inquire about the unclaimed money.
5. Claim the Money
If you're confident that the result is legitimate, it's time to claim your money. The process can vary depending on the state or province, but you'll likely need to provide some personal information and documentation to prove your identity.
Here are the things to keep in mind when claiming your money:
- Be patient: The claims process can take several months, so be ready for a little waiting time.
- Be prepared: Gather all the necessary documentation before you start the claims process.
- Be aware of the fees: Some companies charge a fee for their services, so be ready to pay a little before you start your journey on claiming your money.
- Search through other databases. Example: The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, a searchable database of unclaimed property.
Where To Search the Unclaimed Money
1. Your State's Unclaimed Property Office
The first place to start your search for unclaimed money is with your state's unclaimed property office. Each state has an office responsible for holding onto unclaimed money and property.
2. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS also holds onto unclaimed money. You can search for possible unclaimed tax refunds on the IRS website. The process is simple: just enter your name, address, and Social Security number, and the IRS will let you know if any refunds are due to you.
3. Life Insurance Benefits
If you have a life insurance policy that has lapsed or been terminated, the insurer is required to hold onto your unclaimed benefits. The same goes for any benefits that may be due to you as the named beneficiary of a life insurance policy held by someone else, such as a spouse or family member.
4. Bank Deposits
If you have money that's been sitting in a bank account for a while without any activity, it may be classified as unclaimed property. You can claim this money by contacting the state's unclaimed property office and providing proof of your identity.
5. Insurance Policies
If you've ever had an insurance policy, there's a good chance you're owed money. Many people cancel their policies without realizing they're entitled to a refund. It's easy to forget about an insurance policy you no longer use, but checking in on your accounts from time to time is important. If you see that you're being charged for a policy you no longer want or need, reach out to your insurance company and see if you can get a refund.
When looking for unclaimed money, it's important to remember that there are a lot of scams out there. The above guide will help you maneuver these challenges or pitfalls, and claim your money safely and succesfully. Aside from this, it's also important to practice due diligence through your own research and through exclusively working with reputable companies. Getting the help of an expert can also help you avoid simple mistakes.
Having said all that, securing your unclaimed money can bring alot of benefits to your life — extra financial security, availability of emergency funds, and peace of mind just to name a few. The process is easy and cost-free, so take the time to search and enjoy these benefits today.