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Claiming What’s Yours: Locating Unclaimed Money

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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screen shot 2013 12 20 at 12 20 13 pm Claiming Whats Yours: Locating Unclaimed Money

This article is provided and sponsored by:
ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
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Any of us could use some extra cash in the form of a surprise little windfall. Credit counselors at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions recommend taking 15 minutes to search for possible “unclaimed” monies owed to you. In recent years, the average claim has been worth around $900!  What do you have to lose?

Unclaimed property includes dormant bank accounts, stocks, un-cashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders, insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.

Money could be lost due to bank closures, customers who move and doesn’t inform companies with whom they are doing business,  valuables (which are sold off) or cash from forgotten safety deposit boxes, un-cashed checks, unclaimed rebates or refunds, deposits on utilities, old stock and bond certificates, people who were owed tax refunds but who never filed returns, and more.

Companies are required to send funds from lost accounts to the state of the owner’s last known address. That means you could have unclaimed funds in every state that you have resided.  The state government offices are responsible for locating the owners of outstanding property.

Some companies will contact you and offer to do a search for a fee.  There is no reason you should waste your money.  Doing an Internet search is quick and easy.  If you are lucky enough to locate some funds, just complete and submit a claim form.

Your money used to be safe in states’ unclaimed property offices indefinitely.  But, with the economy faltering and many state governments in budgetary trouble, several states have changed their laws. Under certain circumstances, it would be legal for the states to seize unclaimed money and not give it back.

Check each state you’ve lived in at www.unclaimed.org.  Also check www.missingmoney.com.  Make sure to check current and maiden names.  If you’ve ever had an FHA loan, check for possible leftover assets at www.hud.gov.  Consider checking not only for yourself but for relatives.

The credit counselors at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions wish you good luck and happy hunting!

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