The last couple of years haven’t exactly been very kind to our efforts to keep our personal finances in order. And yet, it looks like that, despite these difficulties, we are simply leaving too much money on the table. Dragged-out interest rates, phantom expenses, rampant inflation, and unnecessary costs all seem poised to make monthly budgeting a nightmare.
As of recently, this infamous list got another very frequent mention coming in the form of unclaimed money. What’s even worse is that even though this issue doesn’t get too much attention the assets counted in unclaimed money are usually counted in billions of dollars.
Let us then explore this critical issue in greater depth.
What is unclaimed money?
So, we’ll start this short breakdown by clearly defining what the term unclaimed money exactly covers. With that in mind, unclaimed money, in the broadest of terms, represents the physical or monetary assets that have, due to a variety of reasons, become separated from their owner. As time goes by, these assets simply become unaccounted for.
These financial and monetary resources usually come in the form of:
- Gift cards
- Safety deposit boxes and their content
- Certificates and deposits
- Checks, savings, bonuses, interests, and similar banking products
- Un-cashed checks
- Utility refund accounts
- Insurance policies (matured and terminated)
These couple of examples make only the top of the unclaimed money example list. And even though missing some of these things seems very unlikely, the real-life numbers say otherwise. According to a recent survey, one in ten Americans has unclaimed property or money floating on some forgotten account. Why do you think there is no possibility that you are one of these people? These numbers are easily translatable to other developed economies as well.
Can the unclaimed money be reclaimed?
The short answer to this critical question is – yes. A more practical solution requires more in-depth consideration. In most cases, if you want to get these assets you will resort to professional find unclaimed money services which have appropriate resources and tied and true methods for tracing such resources down. If you are going to conduct this search on your own you will most likely need to browse the following channels and sources:
National and state resources – There are a lot of examples where the funds you have lost in some bank account will be simply moved under the supervision of national or state institutions. Most of the information you need is available through multi-state databases.
Unpaid wages – This sector is regulated by the Department of Labor so if you want to check if you have some pending payments lingering around, you can easily check the DOL database.
Insurance funds – This one is very tricky since various insurance claims are usually regulated by various national, state, and private parties. The best way to get to the bottom of the issue is to check the services, you have been previously using.
Failed banks – If one of the banks whose services you have used, be sure to check the state of your funds with the new service provider. If that, on the other hand, is not possible at the moment, you should check websites like Federal Deposit Insurance, and
Other types of claims – Aside from these three main examples, you may also have missing payments from tax refunds (regulated by IRS), bank failures (FDIC list), SEC (Security Exchange Commission) claims, and foreign exchange.
Free online resources – Some of the most popular mentions include the likes of NAUPA (the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administration) and unofficial resources like MissingMoney.com.
We hope this short breakdown gave you some general idea about what unclaimed money is, just how severe the examples of lost assets can be, and, finally the resources you can use to get the funds you have lost back. We are living in times that are incredibly taxing and don’t really allow for waste of any sort. Keeping that in mind, leaving your hard-earned money to go to waste is not really an option. You have options, the most important thing is to decide and do your best to get your money back. The considerations above will prove to be more than helpful in sorting this issue down.
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