Unclaimed Money — It’s a Thing, And Here’s How To Find It
(WatchDogReport.org) – When a bank or other organization can’t find the owner of an asset after a period of time, they hand it over to the state for safekeeping. The owner can still claim the property or money, but most don’t even know they have any funds at all. Luckily, there are ways to find out if you have an asset out there with your name on it. All you have to do is know where to look.
Unclaimed funds can be anything from tax refunds, inherited assets, old bank balances or pensions. According to experts, 1 out of 10 people in the United States has a claim to some of the billions of dollars sitting idle with the federal government.
How to Find Unclaimed Funds
Unfortunately, there’s no centralized database on a federal level where you can check for unclaimed property or money, so checking directly with state authorities should yield the best results. Visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website and use the links to navigate to your state. Click on the states where you’ve lived, and it will take you to a site where you can enter your name and search for any unclaimed money or property. You can also check the Missing Money website, which checks all state records in one place.
If you believe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might have previous refunds you did not collect due to moving or other issues, contact it directly and ask. During the off-season is probably best if you want a timely response or to avoid sitting on hold for hours.
Veterans who suspect they may have unclaimed insurance money can contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, its database reportedly doesn’t include money from the Service-Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) or the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) from 1965 to the present day. Instead, veterans will need to contact these groups directly.
If you think there might be an FHA insurance refund to claim, contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to inquire.
One more place to check for unclaimed money is through TreasuryHunt.gov. There you can search for any savings bonds still outstanding in your name.
Claiming the Unclaimed
After conducting the searches and figuring out which places to check, all you have to do is ask for your money. Each state or organization will likely have its own method of identification to make a claim. Once you verify your identity per their standards, they send you the money or property.
Be wary of any unsolicited organization asking for your social security number or other sensitive information, and good luck on your search.
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