There’s almost $33 billion in unclaimed money from old payroll checks, utility refunds, trust distributions, stocks, banking or checking accounts, certificates of deposit and the contents of safe deposit boxes waiting to be reclaimed, according to NAUPA (National Associate of Unclaimed Property Administrators). A property is considered abandoned if it has been dormant for more than three years. This type of property is turned over to the state of the last known address and the state hold this money until you or your heirs claim it. The good part is that the unclaimed money can be claimed anytime.
Unclaimed Bank Money
Unclaimed bank deposits are the most common form of abandoned money. The first step towards retrieving this unclaimed money is to find out if the bank is still in business. The history of banks can be found on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Web site at www.fdic.gov. Every type of bank can be found under the “bank Find” tab. The unclaimed money can be requested within a period of one and a half years. After that the funds are handed over to FDIC.
Unclaimed Savings Bond
According to the Treasury more than $15 billion savings bonds are now unclaimed and have stopped earning interest. The record-keeping office of the U.S. Treasury department is a great resource in locating your lost savings bonds which are still earning interest. The Treasury Department requires very basic information like Date of Issue and Social Security Number, to replace or reissue your bond. According to the law, there is no statute of limitations on claiming the savings bonds and the money can be claimed even after an indefinite period of time and the Treasury department is bound to respond to a claim.
Unclaimed Pension Funds
It is generally agreed that the unclaimed pension funds have the lowest volume and only about 32,000 people might have unclaimed pension money lying in the various state treasuries. As of last estimate, about $135 million of unclaimed pension funds are lying with the states. 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.
Contrary to the common belief, no federal agency or the employee of the U.S federal government will help you locate your unclaimed funds. Every state and state department handle the collection and reporting of the unclaimed money according to their own rules. 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.”
There are many private and state accredited search agencies which assist you in locating unclaimed funds. Choice of a search agency should be dependent upon the reputation and governmental accreditation. Since the federal and state governments have all their information online, the search process is pretty simple and can be performed individually.