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Unclaimed Accounts: The Truth About Lost Money

In the United States of America, bank accounts are deemed dormant or unclaimed if there has been no activity for an extended period of time and if contact with the account holder has been lost. The period of dormancy necessary for an account to be considered unclaimed varies from state to state but is customarily around 3 years.

Accounts also become unclaimed when financial institution and banks fail (this happens all too frequently nowadays) and account holders think they have lost all their money. This is not always true. A financial institution that is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has insured all its account holders against loss of funds in case the bank closes down. Basically funds are insured up to $100,000.

To find lost money the fist step is to get in touch with the bank where you think there may be an unclaimed account you have forgotten about. Remember that the unclaimed account need not be in your name – it could be in the name of a family member that has passed away in whose estate you are a beneficiary. If you do not have any idea of which banks may hold these unclaimed accounts to that you are entitled, you can contact your state’s unclaimed property department to do a search for the unclaimed accounts.

Most states’ have websites which you can use to do your search. A more simple option may be to go to a website that helps you locate unclaimed accounts and use their search tools to conduct a wider search that covers all the states where you think that unclaimed accounts be located. If you are able to find an unclaimed account in your name or that of someone whose estate you are entitled to, the websites will guide you in the procedure of making your claim.

Besides doing the searches you just read about, you also need to make sure to go through the claims system. Be sure not to stop at finding your unclaimed money in your state search for unclaimed accounts what may have been lost when a bank went under.

While in most cases there is not time limit on locating unclaimed accounts, under specific situations, a claim may be banded on specific grounds after an extended period of time. So looking for unclaimed accounts is something that should be done as soon as possible.

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When you perform a free trial search on CashUnclaimed.com we display the total dollar amount in unclaimed funds that we show reported by the appropriate government agencies. This does not guarantee that this money is 100% absolutely yours. What it means is that there is that total dollar amount shown by government agencies under your name and common variations of your name at the last time we had the information available to us was reported as unclaimed and is able to have a claim form submitted to be paid that amount. For more information please read our terms of use by clicking the link above.