Reclaim Your Money

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We all love to save money! It is a way to hang on to the money that we worked so hard to earn. Of course, another way to hang on to money you earned is to reclaim it by searching your state listing and the national listing of unclaimed property.

So, you are probably thinking what a waste of time that would be for such a slim chance of finding anything. But, you might be surprised to learn that I reclaimed a five digit sum that my deceased father had deposited in a bank. We had no way to know the money existed until I searched my state’s online unclaimed property database.

Depending on the circumstances, you may have a little paperwork, or a lot, to provide in order to prove your claim to the property. In the case of my dad’s money, we had to provide a death certificate, will, and his social security number, in additional to answering some questions. We did what we were asked to do and a check arrived in the mail.

About once a year, I check my state’s unclaimed property site, which is through the Texas state comptroller’s office. You could do a search on “unclaimed property (your state)” and find the best way to search in your state.

There is also a national database, MissingMoney.com, you may wish to search as well. The funds I find listed in Texas do not always appear on the national site, so you will want to check both locations.

Be sure to check the following:
1. Your immediate family members, both living and deceased.
2. Any businesses currently or formerly owned by family members.
3. Legal names as well as nicknames.
4. Maiden and married names, including any short-lived marriages.
5. Search more than just the state in which you currently live. A Delaware credit card company might have money that is yours. You never know where your money could turn up.

It will not take long to search. You definitely want to check the databases about once a year. I know in my business, in my state, we provide unclaimed funds to the state once a year, after funds have been dormant for three years. Even if you can’t find any money this year, there might be some next year!

You may wonder the source of the funds. It might be from any number of sources, such as a utility deposit that was mailed to you after you moved and thus returned to the utility company, earnest money put in escrow for a house purchase that fell through, or a dormant savings account. Even abandoned safety deposit box contents are sold and the proceeds held for the rightful owner.

By the way, you should not pay anyone to get back your money.  It is, after all, your money.  Try to stick to .gov or .org sites.  Although MissingMoney.com is a .com, it is sponsored by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

Good luck! I hope you get your hands on lots of your lost money.

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