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Billions in Unclaimed Money
It is an open secret that the government is holding onto money waiting for the rightful owner to claim it. The billions in unclaimed money do not belong to the government and are being held in “safekeeping” for the owner.
Finding money can be time-consuming and tricky. Thus, most people never find out they are owed any money and never receive the money that is theirs.
In a given year around 5.7% of the funds are claimed and the rest remains undisclosed. So, 94% of the money is not claimed by the people it is being held for. As a result, the amount of money being held is increasing year after year. With billions added per year.
1 in 10 Americans are owed unclaimed money
One in ten Americans has money to claim according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). And the total to be claimed is billions of dollars.
The money comes from a wide variety of sources.
Where does it come from?
Here are SOME examples of where the money comes from:
- Lost checks – meaning that someone mails you a check, but it is never cashed. Maybe it was lost in the mail or you received it and lost it. It may seem strange that a check could be sent, and you would never miss it but in some circumstances that happens very easily because you are not expecting a check at all. An example of the type of check that this might happen with would be a check to refund a utility bill deposit where the check is sent to a house or apartment you moved out of once the account is closed. You probably would not remember that you had given a deposit and thus would not know a check was sent. Another example is a dividend check from a stock that you own. If the company has an old address the dividend check will be sent there, and you may not realize a dividend check was sent. Another example is a refund of a homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance that is canceled because you sold the house or moved. Again, the money is sent to the old residence and you may not realize anything is owed.
- Unclaimed life insurance policies. When someone dies the insurance company only pays out on the policy if an application is made and proof of death provided. If no claim is made, then the insurance company will hold onto the funds that back the policy until the person who is insured would have turned 115 years old. Now, the insurance company turns in the value of the policy to the state. Any beneficiary of the policy or their heirs can claim that money. Billions of dollars are stranded under exactly this scenario.
- Contents of safety deposit boxes. If a safety deposit box is not paid for or is unopened for too long, then the contents are given to the State for safekeeping pending the box owner or an heir to the box owner claims the contents. The contents are often converted into cash by the State some time period after receipt, but the cash is available.
- Dormant Bank and Financial Accounts. If you leave a bank account with no transactions for too long, then the account will be closed, and the funds turned over to the state. In the case of a deceased person the heirs can claim the funds, or, if the person is not deceased, they can claim the funds.
- Mineral /Gad Royalty and Lease Payments. If you own land or a deceased family member owned land you may be entitled to mineral royalties if there are an oil or gas lease or other mineral rights that have been sold or leased. The tricky part about this is that it can be very difficult to determine who the money should go to so the payor will deposit the money with the state. Sometimes the lease was not even signed directly with the landowner – the agreements can be entered into with a government entity that then is supposed to turn over a portion of the money collected to a group of property owners. Over time the records can get very complicated and the payor of the royalty has no idea who to pay. There are billions of dollars of this class of monies.
- Lost Pensions. Sometimes when people leave a job, they may have earned a pension but do not realize they have vested pension funds. They don’t update the company with an address, ask for the pension funds to be moved or when they actually retire ask for their pension.
- Other examples include stocks, accounts payable, Christmas Club funds, Worker’s Comp benefits, credit balances, Educational Savings Accounts, Condemnation Awards, monies for lost heirs, unused Health Savings Account balances, uncashed money orders, uncashed certified checks, matured CDs, mature bond principal, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates, customer overpayments, annuities, and more.
InLife Claims serves to make it easier to find money or property owed to you. Searching is free and InLife Claims is a better way to search than individual government-run databases.
Here is why you are better off searching on InLife Claims than anywhere else:
- It has a combined database going across multiple states. One search on InLife Claims can cover as many records as multiple searches in single-state government databases. Saving you time and effort.
- It has a more sophisticated search tool. In some state databases, the search tool is old and finicky. If you type in space differently than the data is on the database such as you type in “Robert Johnson” and the property is under “Robert K. Johnson” then the older search tools in state databases may not return a match unless you include the middle initial. Or, if you are searching for property belonging to “Mary O’Toole” and the state database had the data entered as “Mary O’Toole” (I have seen this mistake myself) you may not get the result with the typo in it. InLife Claims has a more sophisticated search tool so you can find more of the money that is owed to you with less time and effort.
- It also has a service to actively search on your behalf over time and notify you if there is a potential match. This “set it and forget it” feature will help you get all the money owed to you!