What is Unclaimed Property?

Unclaimed property can be any financial asset or sum of money that appears to have been abandoned by the owner. Some typical types of unclaimed property include: 1. Utility deposits (very common), credit balances, store refunds
2. Uncashed dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks
3. Stock certificates or accounts, bonds, mutual fund accounts
4. Life insurance policy proceeds
5. Undistributed wages
6. Checking and savings accounts
7. Gift certificates
8. Traveler’s Checks
9. Safe deposit boxes
10. Royalty payments
11. Court payments or deposits

State laws require financial institutions, public utilities, and various other entities to report personal property considered abandoned or unclaimed. The account or property must have been inactive for some period of time specified by state law, and the whereabouts of the owner must be unknown.

How to Find Unclaimed Assets and Property: Watch step-by-step video below:

Find unclaimed money property and assets for yourself, your family and friends. Unclaimed Property may be located throughout various different states, federal agencies and organizations. Keep in mind that when you perform a search, the total dollar amount in unclaimed funds reported by the appropriate government agencies does not guarantee that this money is 100% yours. What it means is that there is that total dollar amount shown by government agencies under your name and common variations of your name. It means there are funds matching your name and they are eligible to be claimed.

At 2014 the States are Holding Over $8.1 Billion in Unclaimed Funds

Have you ever moved without getting your utility deposit back, or forgotten about an old checking or savings account? That money is still yours and you can get it from the state governments. The states have made finding and recovering unclaimed property much easier with online unclaimed property searches and even online claim forms. This feature is designed to provide you with information about unclaimed (escheat) property and links to all available online state property recovery resources. Remember that each state in which you have ever lived may be holding Unclaimed Funds for you.

Can the Federal Government Find Unclaimed Funds for Me?

No. No agency or employee of the U.S. Federal Government can or will help you recover unclaimed property. “There is no government-wide, centralized information service or database from which information on unclaimed government assets may be obtained. Each individual Federal agency maintains its own records and would need to research and release that data on a case-by-case basis.” – United States Treasury Department Each state handles the reporting and collection of unclaimed property and each state has its own laws and methods for recovering unclaimed property.

You might have unclaimed property in any state where you or your relatives have ever lived or done business. You Might Have Unclaimed Property If . . .

1. You have moved — with or without — leaving a forwarding address. Moving is the main source of abandoned utility deposits and bank account balances.
2. You have retired, been reassigned, or laid off from a job
3. You have not made a transaction on your checking or savings account for over three years
4. You have stopped payments on an insurance policy
5. You have an uncashed check made out to you more than 3 years ago
6. You regularly throw away your mail without reading it.
7. You have noticed that regular dividend, interest, or royalty checks have stopped coming
8. You have settled a deceased family member’s estate

What About Paid Property Search Firms?

Many firms advertise that they will go out search for unclaimed property on your behalf. Many of these firms are totally honest and offer good services. However, watch out for firms that have already found unclaimed property belonging to you and want to charge you to recover it. More often than not, if you can find it, and prove it’s yours, you can claim it yourself. Many states require search firms and heir-finders to be licensed or registered and impose legal limits on how large a percentage of the value of the claimed property they can charge. Always check with the unclaimed property department within your state government before signing a contract with a property search firm.


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