What is Unclaimed Property?
There is a huge amount of unclaimed property in the U.S. — an estimated $49.5 billion of it is held by the states, waiting to be claimed.
“Unclaimed Property” is money or other property (like an insurance policy) that belongs to you but because the payor couldn’t locate or contact you is sent to the state’s unclaimed property division. According to Forbes,
“Unclaimed money can come from a range of sources, including abandoned checking and savings accounts, company refunds, annuities, customer overpayments, payroll checks, investment accounts, trust distributions, life insurance payments and utility security deposits. It can also include physical items that were abandoned in safe deposit boxes such as precious metals.”
How to Recovery Unclaimed Property
You may be thinking that you don’t have any unclaimed property. That is what I thought, but on a whim I decided to run a search on Missouri’s unclaimed property website. It was easy to do and I found four entries under my name. I completed a claim form and received a check from the state a few months later. All four claims added up to about $125 — holy cow I got $125 for about 5 minutes of work! I just ran a search under my wife’s name and found another $30!
If you are interested in finding if you have unclaimed property you can run a search through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators here. Or go to your state’s specific unclaimed property website. Here’s a list of the website for each state from the FDIC: State Unclaimed Property List.
In addition to searching the state in which you live, also search in states where you previously lived. If you have a business, make sure and search under the businesses’s name. If you are an heir, search under the decedent’s name. If you find that you have unclaimed property, the state website will lead you through how to make a claim.
Not all unclaimed money may be searchable on the state’s websites, so we would recommend checking these other websites for lost money from more specific sources:
https://www.usa.gov/unclaimed-money -Unclaimed money from the United States Government.
https://webapps.dol.gov/wow/ -The Department of Labor database.
https://www.pbgc.gov/about/pg/contact/contact-unclaimed -Pensions from former employers database.
https://insurance.va.gov/UnclaimedFunds -Veterans Affairs database for unclaimed insurance funds.
https://www.irs.gov/refunds -IRS unclaimed refunds database.
Have a fun treasure hunt. I’d love to know what you find.
Thanks, John. I have searched in MA before (and got $25 from Best Buy). But that was 10 years ago. This time I got $88 for my wife (unclaimed commission from her realty firm (that she still works for) and another $25 for me (from a hospital).
Most profitable post ever! At first it felt like a scam so I’m glad you endorsed it. There was nothing from my in state search but then tried the broader search. Found $340 in CO and an undisclosed amount coming from MT. Haven’t even searched my wife’s yet.
I’m just getting started, but have found $358 in my mom’s name in FL so far! Thanks for the tip!
Holy coincidence. My brother just started a business using computer searchs for unclaimed property in CA. He specializes in owed money over $80,000. His computer search can do in seconds what it takes a person to do in a half an hour!
We have money coming from 2 different states. Thanks, John.
I found money in CA – it was so weird to have it pop, it felt like a scam, but I got my check!
Cha-ching! $3 found. 🙂