$5 Billion in Unclaimed Property Awaits Claimants in the US

Johnnie Padberg
Published Jun 27, 2024

$5 Billion in Unclaimed Property Awaits Claimants in the US

Across the United States, an astonishing $5 billion in unclaimed property is waiting to be claimed by its rightful owners.

This treasure trove includes forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, unclaimed insurance benefits, stocks, and safe deposit box contents.

State treasuries hold these assets, awaiting the day they can reunite them with their rightful owners.

The Scope of Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property accrues when businesses or government entities lose contact with the property's owner for a specific period.

After this dormancy period varies by state, the property is transferred to the state’s unclaimed property office.

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), approximately one in ten Americans has unclaimed property.

Examples of Unclaimed Property

  1. Bank Accounts: Dormant savings or checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and funds from expired credit union memberships.
  2. Uncashed Checks: Payroll, vendor payments, and refund checks that were never deposited.
  3. Insurance Benefits: Life insurance policies, health insurance reimbursements, and annuities.
  4. Stocks and Dividends: Unclaimed shares of stock, dividends, or mutual funds.
  5. Safe Deposit Boxes: Contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, which can include jewelry, collectibles, or important documents.
Read: Billions Of Assets Go Unclaimed Each Year!

How to Check for Unclaimed Property

To see if you have unclaimed property, search state databases through websites such as the NAUPA’s unclaimed.org.

These sites allow individuals to search for unclaimed property nationwide by simply entering their name and state of residence.

In Illinois, the official unclaimed property program, known as I-Cash, can be accessed through the Illinois State Treasurer's website, making it easy for residents to search for and claim their unclaimed assets.

Success Stories

Success stories abound, with individuals and families reclaiming significant sums.

For example, a man in California discovered over $100,000 in forgotten stock dividends, while a woman in Texas reclaimed a $50,000 life insurance policy left by her late father.

Don't miss: How To Get Your Forgotten Or Lost Money Without Breaking The Bank

In Illinois, the I-Cash program has facilitated the return of millions of dollars to rightful owners, including a recent case where a Chicago resident reclaimed $250,000 from a forgotten inheritance.

These heartwarming stories highlight the importance of regularly checking for unclaimed property.

Government Benefits Related to Unclaimed Property

Several federal and state programs can assist individuals in locating and reclaiming their property. These include:

  1. Treasury Hunt: A tool provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help people find matured savings bonds and other Treasury securities that have stopped earning interest.
  2. Veterans Affairs Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs assists veterans in locating unclaimed life insurance benefits.
  3. Social Security Administration: Helps beneficiaries locate unclaimed social security benefits and back payments.

If you find unclaimed property in your name, claiming it is typically straightforward. Most states require proof of identity and a claim form.

The process can usually be completed online or by mail. Illinois residents can use the I-Cash portal to submit their claims electronically, streamlining the process and ensuring quicker reunification with their assets.


With billions of dollars in unclaimed property available across the United States, it’s worth taking a few minutes to check if you have any unclaimed assets.

This simple action could lead to a significant financial windfall, turning forgotten funds into newfound wealth.

Illinois residents, in particular, should take advantage of the I-Cash program to discover if they have unclaimed assets waiting for them.

Previous article: Could You Have Unclaimed Money? Here's How To Collect It

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