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What Is Unclaimed Money?

Unclaimed money is the popular term for unclaimed property.  Unclaimed property is defined, as “monetary or physical assets which have become separate from their rightful own over time.” Another term often used is unclaimed funds.



What are the most common types of unclaimed property:

Checks, saving, and other types of bank accounts

Content of safety deposit boxes

Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, dividends

Un-cashed cashier’s checks or money orders

Certificates of deposit

Matured or terminated insurance policies

Estates

Apartment or utilities refund accounts

This is only an abridged list of the countless types of property that fall into the category of “unclaimed.”

 

How does money and property end up becoming “unclaimed”?

Occasionally banks, stockbrokers, employers, or businesses have money that they need to return to an individual.  There are many instances when this might happen.  Here are some examples…

  • Utilities:

You pay a utility company upfront for the entire winter’s worth of natural gas.  It’s a warm winter and you have over paid the company.  The company might write you a reimbursement check, but you’ve moved to a new home before the check gets to you and you’ve neglected to leave a forwarding address.

  •  Employer:

You held a retirement account with a company, but didn’t stay at the job long.  You left the company and moved to another state.  You are entitled to the money in the retirement account, but the company has no way to reach you at your new locale.

  • Banks and Estates:

Perhaps you have a loving relative who passes away.  They might have left money for you, but set up the trust fund before you got married and moved away.  The trust managers cannot easily locate you, especially if your name has changed and you have left the state.

 

Sounds too good to be true?  It’s not…

Now you might be thinking, yeah right.  There are no rich generous relatives hiding in my family tree and I know I’ve forwarded my mail every time I moved.  Well, accidents happen and money gets misplaced.  It doesn’t hurt to look. Right now the Federal government is sitting on over 16 billion in unclaimed Treasury Bonds issues since 1974.  The state of NY has 10.5 billion in unclaimed funds.  The states have about 117 million listings for property that is unclaimed.  Statistically speaking, this means nearly every third American is owed money.  Odds are good that you or someone in your family is owed money, so it’s worth taking the time to look for it.

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Vanity Fair “Great News for People Who Love Finding Lost Money”

Vanity Fair wrote an article outlining New York’s unclaimed money and unclaimed property programs.  Here are some stats highlighted about New York: New York’s coffers are lined with $13.3 billion in forgotten funds, and the Times reports that nationwide, more than $62 billion languishes in unclaimed accounts. The article also lists some notable names who have unclaimedContinue Reading

Indiana Attorney General reminds Hoosiers to check for unclaimed property

Indiana Attorney General has begun a campaign urging Hoosiers to check and see if they have any unclaimed money or unclaimed property.  Here are some stats on Indiana’s unclaimed money: “More than $400 million in Indiana, $22 million in Southern Indiana. There’s $5 million in Clark County and nearly $4 million in Floyd.” Full ArticleContinue Reading