We’re all missing money these days. Now, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has unveiled MissingMoney.com, a website allowing people to reclaim funds they may never have received.
The premise is this: State governments around the nation have almost $33 billion in unclaimed checks, refunds, and other property sitting in their offices. MissingMoney.com allows you to find out whether any of that money belongs to you or your relatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Anna Prior explains:
Wishing for extra cash? You may be entitled to some of the nearly $33 billion in unclaimed property sitting in state governments’ coffers. These are sums that businesses were required to turn over to the states after no activity or contact with the owner after a period of a year or more.
Items can include dividend or payroll checks that haven’t been cashed, refunds, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders, insurance payments or refunds, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments and the contents of safe-deposit boxes.
To find out if a state has any of your money, visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ Web site, unclaimed.org. From there, you can access individual states’ records or the centralized MissingMoney.com (which includes records from most states, but not New York and California), all free.
You also can search for the names of deceased relatives who may have unclaimed property. If you can prove that you are the legal heir, you can claim those accounts. If a match pops up, you’ll need to fill out a claim form and submit it to the state’s claim office along with the proper documentation.
I tried searched for my name in the California database, then for my family’s name, but no luck. Just to test out the system, I searched for John Smith. California owes 20 pages of John Smiths money. So the database works. Try it out–and good luck!