Government agencies, courts, banks, brokers, insurance companies and others are holding tens of billions of dollars in unclaimed funds. States recently took custody of nearly $23 billion in missing money and unclaimed property, of which less than $1 billion was reclaimed by owners or heirs. The current financial crisis will produce substantially more unclaimed monies and abandoned property, due to the large number of foreclosures, bank closings and company bankruptcies.
Cash, assets and personal property are considered unclaimed in the eyes of the law when contact with the owner is lost, typically after death, a name change due to marriage or divorce, an unreported change of address, expired postal forwarding order, and outdated or incomplete records.
Unclaimed asset searches should include all variations of your name, including maiden and previous married names, middle names, initials, even common misspellings and nicknames. Search every state where you, family members and other potential benefactors have lived or worked, as well as popular corporate domiciles like Delaware and New York.
Be aware unclaimed property databases online contain only a fraction of accounts actually available for claim, and certain types of unclaimed funds may be excluded entirely, including government checks and refunds.
To trace unclaimed funds owed by federal agencies, including U.S. Savings Bonds, IRS refunds, Social Security and VA benefits, the originating agency must be queried, as federal government unclaimed money is not included in state unclaimed property databases.
There are time limits on some types of claims, so prompt action is necessary!