Have you ever had a sneaking suspicion that you left something behind?
Perhaps you forgot to get back the deposit the utility company charged you at your last place, or you lost your savings bonds and don’t know what to do.
And in most cases the money is held by the government. So it will be like getting free money from the government, specially if you had no idea you actually had missing or unclaimed money.
Even if you can’t think of where you may have lost or left behind your money, the good news is that there are websites available that can help you find unclaimed and missing money quickly.
1. Check with Your State
Most of the time, unclaimed money is held by the state where you had the account.
For instance, if you had a safety deposit box, or perhaps a security deposit on an apartment you rented, it’s most likely the money will still be in the state, and you may be able to get it back.
There’s a nonprofit group called the National Association of Unclaimed Property Advisers (NAUPA), and its mission in life is to reconnect you to any money that is yours.
It is nationwide, covering all 50 states and DC, and it has a website through which you can check.
All you have to do is go to Unclaimed.org and look up your state.
2. Talk to the IRS
Well, okay, you don’t have to talk to them, you can do your search on their website.
If you’ve moved around a bit, it could be that a tax refund was sent to an old address and returned as undeliverable.
Or there could have been a clerical error, so you never got the check.
You can find out if you contact the IRS whether there are any tax refunds waiting for you to pick them up.
The website to go to is IRS.gov/refunds so you can check.
3. Check with the Other States
As I noted above, unclaimed money is usually held by the state where the account originated.
But sometimes it will be held in the state where the business is headquartered.
And if you’ve moved from state to state, you may want to check with several other states, all of which is time-consuming.
Fortunately, there is an answer to this. There’s a website where you can check many states at the same time.
It’s at MissingMoney.com.
Just note that this website at present doesn’t cover the whole country. It includes 37 states and the District of Columbia, the other states don’t participate yet.
4. The US Treasury
As mentioned in the introduction, it’s quite possible that you bought some bonds a number of years ago, and have lost track or even forgotten about them. After all, some of them take 30 years to mature! For this, you need to check with the US Treasury.
After all, some of them take 30 years to mature! For this, you need to check with the US Treasury.
For this, you need to check with the US Treasury.
It’s rumored that the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt has billions of dollars available in matured, unredeemed savings bonds, which are bonds that people have not claimed. Even worse, if the bones have matured they no longer earn any interest, so you’re not getting anything by leaving the money there.
You can check on the website that the US Treasury has set up specifically for this.
The address is TreasuryHunt.gov, and all you have to do is enter your Social Security number.
By the way, if you got the bonds as a gift they may be listed under the giver’s Social Security number, so make sure you check that one too.
5. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Most people know that the FDIC insures banks, covering the depositors’ funds if the bank fails and goes under.
It doesn’t cover everything, but the limit was raised in the last few years so it covers up to $250,000 per account.
So if you had money in a bank that failed, you don’t have to try and track down and sue the bank manager or bank owners.
All you need to do is check with the FDIC, which again has a convenient website, this time at FDIC.gov/funds.
6. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
Not so many people know that there is a similar body to the FDIC, this time covering credit unions.
It performs the same task, restoring money to clients if the credit union has gone bust.
The website is http://www.NCUA.gov/resources/am/pages/unclaimeddeposits.aspx.
Note you shouldn’t confuse the NCUA with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), which is simply the industry group for credit unions.
7. Fair Housing Administration
If you’ve ever been involved with the FHA, perhaps getting a mortgage through them, then there’s a chance that you may be owed some money.
For instance, you might have paid your insurance premium in the escrow at closing, but they included it on your monthly mortgage.
If you are owed money by the FHA, there is a time limit in which to claim it. By law, HUD can keep your money if you haven’t claimed it within 6 years.
If you’d like to check it out, go to http://www.HUD.gov/offices/HSG/comp/refunds/.
If you don’t know your FHA case number, you can also search on your name.
8. Lost Pensions
With the mobility of labor, you may have been employed by several different businesses. Perhaps some of those businesses may even be out of business.
If the business is still operating, then you should chase any pension rights with them. But if the business has folded, all is not lost as there is a government department that safeguards pension benefits.
The department is called the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), and you can start searching for your money at http://www.pbgc.gov/wr/trusteed/plans.html.
9. Unpaid Life Insurance Benefits
If you have life insurance, you don’t necessarily have to die to get any benefits.
For instance, if the company demutualized, it may owe you stocks or cash.
Also, sometimes you may not realize that a relative or friend who has passed had a life insurance policy which benefits you.
To search for either of these, you should go to Demutualization-Claims.com.
Find & Claim Your Missing Money
Even if you don’t know of any money that is due to you, remember that there is a lot out there waiting to be claimed, which shows that oftentimes people are not aware that they are owed money.
You owe it to yourself to at least check with the state to see whether there is something that you don’t know about, and you may get a pleasant surprise.