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It’s true! Every state maintains its own database of unclaimed funds – and you might just find that someone owes YOU money!
The Internet is full of examples of successful refunds but some people still believe it’s too good to be true. It’s not! The money listed in the database is legitimate – and there are BILLIONS of dollars just waiting to be claimed!
Where did the money come from? There are many, many sources, including:
- Refund or rebate checks
- Uncashed pay checks
- Insurance payouts
- Forgotten bank balances
- Utility deposits
- Unused gift certificates
- Proceeds from stock sales
- Retirement benefits from a previous employer
There may even be items, such as jewelry, watches, coins, stamps and other tangible property, from abandoned safe deposit boxes!
If you move and a company can’t find you, they can’t get your funds to you…
…and that money goes to the unclaimed funds database.
Consider this story from KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah:
Early one recent Sunday morning, Ogden resident Jon Hanson woke up and turned on the television. He happened to see some information about a state-run program that sought to return unclaimed money to the rightful owners.
His first thought was to ignore it, figuring it was some sort of scam to unwittingly get people to give out their personal information. But after thinking on it, he decided to visit the Utah Unclaimed Property Division’s new website, mycash.utah.gov.
Turns out it was the best decision he could have made.
Hanson, 55, grabbed his laptop to just see if his name would pop up. “So I went in and within seconds it said, ‘You have over $100, please send this information.'”
After providing the required information in about 10 seconds, he submitted it.
“Here’s what’s amazing: that afternoon I got an email saying that my refund had been approved and would be sent out in the mail,” he recalled. “On Monday, I got another email that said (the check) had been sent out and on Tuesday, I got the check.”
The amount was nearly $500 — not bad for filling out an online query, Hanson said. That good fortune prompted him to perform searches for some relatives as well, which also resulted in recovery of monies for two out-of-state family members — both for more than $100.
In 2013, CNN reported that one Connecticut resident claimed $32.8 million in forgotten funds from the sale of nearly 1.3 million stock shares!
Although payouts that high are certainly rare, there are millions of Americans who are owed billions of dollars. For example, the state of California alone owes $8 billion to just 32.5 million people – that’s almost $250 on average! Nearly 1 in 2 Idahoans have money waiting for them.
So what happens to the unclaimed funds if they’re never collected? Although the funds can be used to fund government projects, the money must be available to the person it belongs to if it is ever claimed. West Virginia’s deputy treasurer for unclaimed property said that “The money belongs to the owner in perpetuity. Even if the owner dies, then their heirs could come back and claim it.”
So…. is there free money waiting for you?
You can visit MissingMoney.com to check the results for MOST states. However, please note that MissingMoney.com does NOT include results for Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming.
You’ll want to check the sites of any state you’ve previously resided in, since the money is held by the state with your last known address.
New funds are added all the time! Check back once a year to see if there are new funds you’ve missed.