The words “lost property” would generally make one frantic or nervous. However, one of the most reassuring facts about unclaimed and lost property is that they are safe and secure with the state and federal agencies. Apart from the robust and far-reaching reclaim programs initiated by federal government, state treasuries have also taken very concrete and practical steps to ensure that U.S. residents do not have face roadblocks when looking for their lost funds. Most of the owners of lost funds are now realizing that the process of reclaim is much easier than they anticipated.
The reclaim process begins with the identification of lost funds and the possible location of the fund (go through all the places where you have resided during your lifetime). Most of the states have created online claim forms on their unclaimed funds website. These forms can be completed and submitted online. Once these forms are received by the concerned officials, the final steps are triggered. The process of validation and authenticity of claims is started and you might have to submit documented proof regarding your claim.
The federal and state agencies will provide complete assistance throughout the process of reclaim once you have begun. Every federal and state treasury will have its personal unclaimed funds database. According to the Treasury department , “There is no government-wide, centralized information service or database from which information on unclaimed government assets may be obtained. Each individual Federal agency maintains its own records and would need to research and release that data on a case-by-case basis.” As of now, there are many reliable and accredited unclaimed funds search agencies which helps us in locating our missing money.
A few vital points pertinent to the reclaim of funds can be listed as below.
-Most of the state governments have officially launched an ‘unclaimed funds’ website which can be utilized by U.S. residents to take the next steps towards reclaiming their lost funds. These websites also contain a reclaim forms which can be submitted online for an expedited action.
-Government has identified all the reliable search agencies which can be utilized by the residents to search for the lost property.
Statesponsored fairs are organized which provides walk-in assistance for missing funds inquiries and on-the-spot claim of funds. These state fairs have been quite successful in creating awareness about the unclaimed money search and reclaim process.
Some of the other major sources of lost or unclaimed funds.
-Unclaimed bank money: Unclaimed and abandoned bank accounts are one of the most prolific sources of lost or unclaimed funds. Once you have determined that the concerned bank is still in business (from www.fdic.gov), the unclaimed money can be requested within a period of one and a half years. After that the funds are handed over to FDIC.
Saving Bonds: According to the Treasury, more than $15 billion savings bonds are now unclaimed and have stopped earning interest. The recordkeeping office of the U.S. Treasury department is a great resource in locating your lost savings bonds which are still earning interest.
-Unclaimed Pension Funds: As of last estimate, about $135 of unclaimed pension funds were waiting to be claimed and still lying with the state treasuries. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federal pension insurance program, takes over the pension program if a company goes out of business. PBGC tries to locate the owners of abandoned pension funds. If you or your relatives might have a pension which is still unclaimed, then it can be tracked down at PBGC at search.pbgc.gov/mp/. There, you can type in your name and company in a search tool.