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How did my money become unclaimed?
Knowing that there is over $60 billion in unclaimed money just sitting idle, waiting for someone to come and get it, boggles the mind. The only explanation for it is that people have no idea there is money being held for them or they deem the ‘find unclaimed money’ procedure to be too cumbersome.
Search to find unclaimed money
Finding out if you are entitled to any unclaimed money really isn’t that difficult to do. The truth is that anyone can go online to each state and agency holding funds and search by name to see if they have any unclaimed property out there that belongs to them.
There is complexity because any state you have ever lived in could be holding your money or any agency you have ever done business with could be holding money. And their search tools are often clunky. That is why Inlife Claims has aggregated data across multiple states and has a more intuitive and powerful search engine to help you find unclaimed money. Nonetheless, finding out that you have unclaimed money is the easy part, but retrieving any unclaimed money gets a little more in-depth though.
When trying to find unclaimed money be sure to keep the following tips and information in mind:
After you find out that yes, you indeed are owed money, you’ll then have to search any and all states you have been associated with. Each state has a state held funds website, which has a special search function for unpaid monies. Search every state you have ever lived in. Each state’s site is a little different, so you’ll need to follow the step-by-step instructions, and enter your information into the database. Often, the paperwork you need to complete to find unclaimed money can always be found.
You will also need to provide proof of your identity and likely have signatures notarized, and the time to collect depends on each government agency; it can take from a couple of weeks up to several months.
If you have a frequently misspelled name or your name has variations that are often confused (e.g., Schmid, Schmidt, Schmitt), search those misspellings on the state site as well. Also, be sure to search for any nicknames you have used.
Keep in mind that many government agencies also hold lists of government-held funds. Some examples are state treasurers or controllers, US Savings Bonds, the IRS, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Department of Veterans Affairs. There are more than just those agencies but even searching only those agencies is a big job and if you are that motivated some google searches will find more potential sources of funds.
More Insight to find unclaimed money successfully.
Unclaimed money exists for a multitude of reasons. The money might be out there unclaimed because it belonged to a deceased relative. Or it was from a forgotten security deposit for utilities, or a forgotten bank account, abandoned safe deposit box contents, stocks and bonds, uncashed checks, insurance policies, CDs, trust funds, utility deposits, wages, and escrow accounts. The agencies are not in a big hurry to hunt you down to give you your money. They don’t have the budget for finding people so you have to do the chasing so you can find unclaimed money.
If what you have unclaimed is a considerable amount of money, (usually over $1,000 for most people, especially if they weren’t expecting it anyway), you will want to be extra careful about how you handle the claim process. You as the claimant have a right to the money, but to find unclaimed money, is a process. In addition to the paperwork involved, which usually involves getting things signed, notarized, and filed with the right entity, there is the issue of proving you are the claimant entitled to the money and not a relative or friend.
There have been cases where after the claimant jumped through all the hoops the various agencies threw at him, and then he just waited for the check to arrive. Unfortunately, it didn’t—at least not for several months. What he did receive was a request for a copy of his social security card, then a week later, a copy of a utility bill to prove he is living where he said he was living, and then another request for proof of being alive!
The more complex claims typically involve a deceased relative or a formal estate, a defunct business, or are connected with an old address where you no longer have documentation that you ever lived there.
Although not always that big of a hassle, agencies are cautious to be sure they have the right person and it is upon you to prove you are the right person.
In cases like those Inlife claims do offer two items to help you. One is a claims guide for each state. And the second is an assisted claims service to help you make the claim. Some people use the assisted claims service just to keep their lives simpler even for a run of the mill claim. Others use the service when claiming seems too complex.