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Check the Lost & Found

You know that feeling you have when you find $20 in your winter coat left there since last winter. Well, you can have that feeling again by searching for unclaimed property held by your state.

Every state has a "lost & found" that you can check. It is the unclaimed property department that receives and holds property totaling billions of dollars across all states. Perhaps some of that is yours! Some was mine and I will share my story below. In fact, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, 1 in 10 people do have some unclaimed property waiting for them.

Typically unclaimed property results from financial institutions holding funds with no activity and with no contact from the property owner. After a period of time, the company must turn these assets over to the state. This may include safe deposit box contents, stock, checking account balances, refunds never cashed, security deposits, insurance payments, etc.

I recently did a search at Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property and was happily surprised to see that I had funds waiting for me! Since the value was over $50, they would not tell me the dollar amount. Therefore with great anticipation I filed my claim for my property to be returned. After months of back and forth correspondence with the purpose of proving my identity and relationship to the property, I was finally notified of my prize - $52! I was hoping for a few more zeros, but I took it. Apparently, at the time of my move from Delaware to Pennsylvania (16 years ago), some funds ended up remaining in escrow and I was never tracked down (which is odd considering the attorney had both my present and future address).

I would encourage you to search for lost funds in your name, your spouse's name, and your deceased parents' names. If there are funds from a deceased parent, naturally you will need to provide proof of your right to the funds. Check each state in which you have ever lived and/or worked.

One site, called MissingMoney, allows you to search 39 states at once which can make the process easier. By going to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, you can go directly to your desired state to begin your search.

Check the "lost & found" for what might rightly be yours to claim!

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