Unclaimed money is money that has been forgotten or left behind by its rightful owner. It can come in many forms, such as bank accounts, uncashed checks, stocks, and more. Some people aren’t aware that they may be due some unclaimed money. However, countless people across the country are due some form of it. So if you think you might be due some unclaimed money, read on to learn more about how to find it and claim it!
Explaining Unclaimed Money
A lot of individuals have unclaimed property that is legally theirs. 1 in 10 people has unclaimed property ready for them to claim, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). What is unclaimed property? Essentially, when we say there is unclaimed property, we mean property or accounts that haven’t seen any action in a certain amount of time and therefore are deemed abandoned. Whenever there’s a phase of inaction or abandonment, this time is referred to as a dormancy period. If nothing happens during this dormancy period, the state will receive ownership of the property.
Unclaimed Property and Its Types
Unclaimed property comes in a variety of types, such as:
- Mineral royalty payments
- Savings accounts
- Contents of safety deposit boxes
- Uncashed payroll checks
- Uncashed dividends
- Security deposits for utilities
- Certificates of deposit
- Customer overpayments
- Traveler’s checks
- Trust distributions
- Checking accounts
- Insurance payments or refunds
- Unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states)
Where Can People Locate Unclaimed Money?
Because each state is unique and has its own rules, individuals will claim their money according to their state’s guidelines. People can locate their legally unclaimed property for free using official state government databases. Anyone can go to the NAUPA website to choose the best search engine for their state. That said, there is no website through the federal government for people to search for their unclaimed money.
A state search tool is actually not the only option! Basically, unclaimed property comes in many different forms. Thus, based on the source, there will be several methods for locating it. This means people can also attempt a few different search techniques while looking for money from:
- Tax Refunds
Most people aren’t excited when it comes to dealing with taxes and filing forms, but getting a tax refund can be worth the effort! Some taxpayers are owed refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Thus, whoever believes they’re entitled to a tax refund should get in touch with the IRS. By visiting the website of the IRS, people can find out what they might be owed.
There is a website that people can visit if they believe that they are owed a pension from previous jobs. Essentially, in a case where a corporation exits the market or terminates a defined benefit pension plan, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) comes into the picture to assist people in finding the pension that is legally theirs.
Some people may also be due outstanding wages from their previous employers. In this case, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) might be of assistance. The DOL website has a list of employees who have money owed to them. That being said, the DOL may retrieve any unpaid salary that a person is due from their employer if the employer violated labor regulations.
If a person believes they have unclaimed money, there are ways they could claim it, and the process may be easier than they imagine. There are several methods to locate unclaimed property based on the source because there are numerous forms of it. Essentially, the federal government doesn’t have a website, but people can find information about their unclaimed property for free using other official databases. Yes, it is good news that people have the chance to claim money that they forgot about. However, this article overall should serve as a reminder for people to consistently manage their finances and simply take care of their stuff!