Did you know? There is currently $42 billion of unclaimed property in the United States and this money has grown into a major revenue stream for many states every year. Typically unclaimed funds and property are handed over to the state the assets are located in, after a dormancy period has passed.

What is unclaimed money?

Unclaimed property is money or another asset who’s rightful owners cannot be located and ultimately deemed abandoned by its owner.

Common types of unclaimed property include:

  • checking accounts
  • savings accounts
  • individual retirement accounts
  • tax refunds
  • stocks or dividends
  • uncashed paychecks
  • unredeemed money orders
  • utility company deposits
  • traveler’s checks
  • trust distributions
  • safety deposit box contents
  • life insurance policies

Examples of Unclaimed Funds

For instance, a relative may die without having told you about a life insurance policy that lists you as the beneficiary. If the payout of that policy goes unclaimed for long enough, the insurer will turn that money over to the state where the insured resided.

A taxpayer may be owed a refund but the refund check became unclaimed because the taxpayer moved without updating his/her address with the tax authority.

A resident moved from his existing apartment after the end of their lease without giving his new residential address to the previous landlord to mail his security deposit. After the one-year dormancy period expired, the security deposit becomes unclaimed property, and—by law—is turned over to the State Department of Treasury.

How to find unclaimed money?

There is no central source to find unclaimed money, start your search for unclaimed money with your state’s unclaimed property office run by the Department of Treasury. Some states direct people to hunt down lost funds on MissingMoney.com, an online database endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.