Are You Entitled to Unclaimed Property?
You might be entitled to unclaimed property, or you might have been informed via a notice that you are. Thankfully, there’s a completely reputable website out there, run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators that will let you know. All you need to do is go to www.unclaimed.org, click on your state, and enter your name and the city you think you might have unclaimed property in.
How It Works
Unclaimed.org is online directory, which lists property that is owed to individuals through each state. By entering your name in the approproate state, you can run a query to see if anyone with your name has property owed to them. It’s all above board, and public information, so you can rest assured that the information is good and reputable.
The website operates in both the US and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia. If you’ve resided in any of these areas, you definitely want to take a look. There may be money you’re owed or that you’ve forgotten just lying around waiting for you to claim it.
Each of these states and provinces actually has their own website, with it’s own nuances. Thankfully, like most government websites, the instructions are generally right there and you’ll find the sites quite easy to use. And some of the instructions do ask for private information, such as social security numbers. So knowing that it’s a .gov website will give you peace of mind to enter that information.
The best part about all of this is that it’s completely free. While some companies have tried to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information and charge finder fee’s to the owners of lost money, you can easily find out the information yourself directly from the state.
What Kind of Property Can Be Found?
In addition, it may be handy to run a search in your state just to see if you’ve forgotten anything. The kinds of property that will show up are actually quite extensive, ranging from lost payroll to overpayments on bills to old savings or checking accounts that haven’t seen activity in over a year. Don’t expect to find a fortune, although that’s possible, but you’ll find that there’s definitely a lot of stuff out there.
If you’ve got a little bit of time, you might want to do a search for everyone in your family, just to make sure. There’s quite a lot of forgotten money laying around, it’s estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The cool thing is, some of that money could be yours.
Claiming Your Property
There have been unclaimed property laws on the books since the 1930’s, they’re one of the original consumer protection programs. Thankfully, this means that if you forgot about some money somewhere, the institution you left it with can’t just take the money and run.
In fact, in many cases, the money has to be held in perpetuity, meaning that even the heirs of a deceased person will be able to claim the money from the accounts.
States will have slightly different systems for allowing people to regain their unclaimed property, but in general it’s fairly easy if the amount is under $1,000 or so. Obviously, if you’re looking at having lost four figures or more, you probably won’t mind putting out a little bit of extra effort to claim the property.
Smaller sums can, occasionally, even be claimed online without you having to fill out additional paperwork. Many states have eClaim programs, which require minimal verification or hassle in order to let you get your forgotten or lost money.
Unclaimed.org is a valuable resource, and really if you have unclaimed property you probably don’t know about it. Take a look, it’s quick and reliable and you might just have a few bucks waiting for you out there somewhere to help with expenses around the house. Or you might have a lost fortune, who knows? You will soon, with a quick visit to this handy website.
So do some searching, and let us know if you found any unclaimed property that you forgot about.