Missing Money & Abandoned Funds Search
Unclaimed Property: What is it?
80 million Americans are entitled to claim a share of $300 billion in forgotten bank accounts & lost safe deposit boxes, abandoned stock & lost bonds, misplaced checks & non-refunded deposits, unknown life insurance policies & uncollected retirement benefits, and a host of other financial assets.
Assets become abandoned in the eyes of the law when the owner fails to make a deposit or withdrawal on a bank account; forgets to apply for a benefit or neglects to collect an insurance policy payout after death of a family member; holds uncashed any check, money order, or gift certificate; even after a statement or other correspondence is returned as undeliverable by the post office after expiration of a forwarding order.
Those left holding the assets: banks, insurance companies, employers, unions, stock brokers and utilities; even landlords, retail stores, restaurants and government agencies themselves – remit the unclaimed money to the protective custody of a trust account in a process called ‘escheat’ Here it awaits your claim!
How much unclaimed money is out there?
State government trustees recently collected $22.8 billion in forgotten or abandoned funds in just a single year, of which less than $1 billion was reclaimed by owners or heirs. Federal agencies are holding substantially more:
- U.S. Postal Service – $26.6 million (uncashed postal money orders)
- Bureau of Public Debt – $17 billion (matured but unredeemed savings bonds)
- Social Security Administration – $478 million (unclaimed benefit checks)
- Internal Revenue Service – $340 million (undelivered & uncashed tax refunds)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs – $3.4 billion (unclaimed trust fund payments & lawsuit settlement funds)
- FDIC & NCUA – $200 million (unclaimed bank deposits and credit union accounts)
- Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. – $59 million (unpaid retirement benefits)
- HUD – $70 million (Mortgage Insurance Premium refunds/Distributive Shares)
- Federal Bankruptcy Courts – $200 million (unpaid distributions to creditors)
- Securities & Exchange Commission – 3 million lost stock brokerage account owners
How come I didn’t Know?
Have you ever forgotten about an old bank account, unredeemed savings bond or misplaced gift certificate? Have you ever failed to cash a check or claim a security deposit? Are you entitled to an unclaimed employee benefit, retirement funds or company stock?
Were records misplaced after a move, or lost due to theft, fire or flood? Maybe you never even knew you were named an heir or beneficiary in a relative or friend’s will or life insurance policy!
If you’ve moved, changed your name after marriage or divorce, or switched jobs over the years, it can be difficult to find you. And often being declared “missing” results simply from computer or clerical errors, or the expiration of a post office forwarding order. Think it couldn’t possibly be you? Think again!
How do I claim my share?
While holders of unclaimed funds may make a good-faith effort to track down claimants, it’s a near-impossible task due to the sheer number of accounts involved. It is imperative, therefore, that you initiate a search.
To search for unclaimed property held by states, and to obtain information on pre-escheat assets and assets held by federal agencies owed you or a deceased family member, complete the form below.