Forgotten About Unclaimed Investments? How to Reclaim the Money!

You may think that most people would carefully monitor their finances and ensure that they receive all of the money that they are entitled to. However, a significant amount of unclaimed money is being held in escrow in every state in the country. In fact, each state has a special department that is tasked with the job of tracking these assets as well as trying to find rightful owners because there are so many assets that are not claimed. In some cases, these are funds that must be passed along to a surviving heir after the original owner passes away, but the heir cannot be located. In other cases, the funds are forgotten about or overlooked. If you have unclaimed investments or assets, you understandably want to reclaim the money that is owed to you. By learning more about unclaimed investments, you can easily locate funds that are yours and have the money sent to you without delay.

What Qualifies as Unclaimed Property?

First, it is important to understand what an unclaimed investment or property is. This is a financial asset that typically is monetary rather than physical property. For example, it may include a security deposit refund from a utilities company or another type of refund, a money order that was never deposited, checking or savings accounts that have had no activity on them in more than 12 months, unpaid life insurance death benefits and more. Safe deposit or security deposit boxes at banks may also qualify as unclaimed property, but in these cases, the property inside the boxes is usually auctioned off to the highest bidder and is no longer recoverable. Some people are not aware that they have unclaimed property, and others may not know how to locate funds that they believe they are entitled to.

How to Locate Unclaimed Property

You may think that you would need to contact each of your previous financial institutions and service providers to determine if you have unclaimed property, but this is not the case. State governments keep track of uncollected funds, and most states have a searchable database online through their unclaimed property department. The search function varies from state to state. Some states enable you to search for property by name. If you have changed your name over the years, ensure that you check all legal names the property may be listed under. Other states have searches based on your identification number or mailing address. Check all previous mailing addresses you have had for that state, and verify that you check the state databases for all areas of the country that you have lived in. Because creditors and financial institutions are not required to report funds into these accounts for several months, you should plan to check this database regularly each year to ensure that you do not leave money uncollected. If a loved one has passed away within the last few years, consider searching for assets in their name that you may be able to claim as well.

How to Get the Funds That Are Rightfully Yours

Many people who search through these state databases are pleasantly surprised to learn that they have unclaimed property listed in their name. If you fall into this group of fortunate individuals, you may be curious about how to claim the property. Most states have detailed instructions online, and the process can vary slightly from state to state. With many states, however, you will be required to provide proof of identify as well as your current mailing address. You may be able to scan and upload or email the documents, but some states require you to mail this information into their unclaimed properties department. It can take several weeks for your request to be processed in some cases.

You may feel like you are going on a modern day treasure hunt when you are searching through the databases and waiting for search results to pop up, and some people are thrilled to learn that they have hundreds of dollars or more in unclaimed assets in their name. This can be a much-needed windfall that you could benefit from soon. Now is a great time to start searching state databases to determine if you qualify for unclaimed assets.

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