U is for Unclaimed Money That Belongs To You

Unclaimed Money That Belongs To You

You know the feeling you get when you stumble upon some unexpected cash, the cash you had completely forgotten. Whether you left it in an old purse, inside a coat pocket or you find it at the bottom of the wash. It makes most of us feel a bit of pleasure. So then why wouldn’t you check and see if any of the billions of unclaimed properties are owed to you?

There may be unclaimed funds or even property that belong to you. It could be from forgotten savings or checking account, wages, pensions, tax refunds, or an overpayment to a utility company. If an institution can’t track you down, they can’t keep it, they must turn the credit over to the state. If you lived in several states, you might be owed money in multiple states, be sure and check every state in which you lived. The money is yours, and it will be listed under your name.

A word of warning, there are many scam websites and scammers telling you they can find your money for a small fee, these are not legitimate. They will ask you for personal information like your social security number and the only place you should divulge this information is on a secure government site. After all, they already hold this information in their database.

The following are free government agency’s that can help you find unclaimed money. Check out USAGov’s list of official sources to locate potential money that may belong to you. Below are some safe sites to get you started.

Pension Plans – if you lost track of a pension plan from an old job, contact your former employer or the pension plans administrator. If you were in an organization with a failed pension plan, it may have been taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Search this site to see what benefits are available to you.

Unclaimed Property – this includes a variety of property such as utility refunds, insurance payments, abandoned savings/checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends, payroll checks, safe deposit boxes, etc. Check the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators NAUPA which has links to every state’s unclaimed property database, you can also visit MissingMoney.com

Tax Refunds – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might owe you money if your refund was unclaimed or undelivered. You need to file a return within three years to get your money. You can go to Where’s My Refund?

Retirement Benefits – if a former company had a retirement plan and you left before you could claim your money, it may still be there. The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits lets employers list the names of employee’s due retirement benefits.

Good luck with your search and we hope you reap the benefits of finding monies that belong to you.

Answers from A to Z

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

, , , , , , , , , , ,