How to Find Unclaimed Money (We Did!)

by Julie on June 14, 2011 · 17 comments

I’ve never paid too much attention to those news stories about people finding lost or unclaimed money.  It’s not that I doubted that they did, just that I never considered myself the kind of person who would forget about a bank account I had opened or a paycheck I was owed.

But when I recently came across the website MissingMoney.com, I decided to do a search.

And my husband’s name came up.

As it turns out, when my husband – who is an insurance agent – moved his office a few years back, a commission check he was owed never found its way to him. It wasn’t thousands of dollars (or even hundreds) but the $55 and change he was owed was worth the hour or so of work it took me to retrieve it.

MissingMoney.com is a database of unclaimed government property. According to their website, these are the kinds of things that states and provinces typically take possession of when the owner can’t be found:

  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed checks and wages
  • Insurance policies, CDs, trust funds
  • Utility deposits, escrow accounts

The process for finding and claiming money was pretty simple. Once I found his name on the website I had to complete a claim with MissingMoney.com, that was forwarded to the state (in this case, Kansas).

From that point on, it was in the state’s hands.

I had to provide the state with something that proved he had been at the previous address. I pulled an old bank statement.

I sent all of that off in January and he got his check in April. So it wasn’t an especially fast process, but it was certainly an easy one.

Have you found unclaimed money? Please share your experience in the comments.

This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family and Frugal Friday at Life As a Mom.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisette June 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

We also live in the state of KS, and I found $ for both my dad and my father in law. One was a lost commission check (must happen a lot,) and I think my father in law’s was a few bucks owed to him by the county. It wasn’t a lot, but it’s better than letting it sit!

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Lisa June 15, 2011 at 1:10 am

We actually did this and finally got our check! It took awhile to get the check, but hey it was free and we didn’t even know about it! Great recommendation!

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Julie June 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

Awesome, ladies! Glad others had success with this too.

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Barb Friedberg June 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

$55 is still something. How fun! I love it when I find unexpected cash, and your haul was better than the $1 or 2 I find in pants pockets before doing the laundry.

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Julie June 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Barb, there is something fun about unexpected money, isn’t there?

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diane June 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

thank you! Found out that my mom had money comng to her and my ex had money coming to him!

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Julie June 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Diane, I’m so glad. Congratulations!

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Paula @ AffordAnything.org June 16, 2011 at 1:14 am

Great tip!

I’ve also heard success stories from unclaimed.org

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Julie June 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thanks for sharing that resource, Paula.

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Tricia June 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I just searched my mom’s name and found she is owed some money from a life insurance policy. All of my aunts and uncles are listed as well! COOL!

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Julie June 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Wonderful, Tricia!

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Wendy (The Local Cook) June 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

How cool, off to check the site!

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Julie July 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Good luck, Wendy!

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Super Frugalette January 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

I found around $1,700 for my dad from a 50 year old insurance policy.

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Julie January 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

$1700? What a great find!

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