Millions of dollars go unclaimed because the rightful owners of life insurance policies, cash, utility deposits, and property aren’t aware that it even exists in the first place. Many of these errors are due to people moving or they just weren’t expecting it, so they don’t look for it. In fact unclaimed property is just sitting around and filling up federal and state agencies to the roof. Unclaimed property has become so problematic that Unsolved Mysteries aired a special series on unclaimed property and cash so that the rightful owners can contact the state or government to receive these unclaimed benefits. The site that they featured was http: //www.nupd.com/, and it is absolutely free to join. In fact this site is so popular that NUPD.com teamed up with television media station’s ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC
stations across the United States for localized public education and awareness news segments on unclaimed property.
What exactly is considered unclaimed property?
This would include but is not limited to dormant checking and savings accounts, uncashed money orders, cashier checks, unclaimed insurance benefits, mineral royalty payments, safe deposit box contents, unused gift certificates, unclaimed security deposits, cash dividends, stock, court deposits, and utility deposits. Each state has a property database that can be searched either online or an inquiry can be made through the mail to see if you have money owed to you by the state or government. Life insurance companies can also be searched. Most states hold these properties for years until someone finally comes forward to claim the property. This is a free service and you should never have to pay to check each state’s database for unclaimed funds. Even if you have never lived in a particular state it is best to do a nationwide search as funds can be through a business or job whose corporate is in an entirely different state then you are residing in. Most of the money is not claimed due to claimants moving, death, and the rightful owner not being aware that the money is there. There are many sources to check to see if you are in their database and the one’s that are listed below are absolutely free.
http://www.missingmoney.com/ has a data base that lists all states and offers advanced search tips. You should remember to look under your mother’s maiden name, and don’t forget to look for friends and other relatives. Once you have entered a name, it will give you a list of all unclaimed money or property that falls under the last name you have entered. From there you will be prompted to make a claim or not. The complete list of all states can be found at http: //www.missingmoney.com/Main/StateSites.cfm.
Many people are made the beneficiary on an insurance premium by relatives or friends without their knowledge, and this can start the cycle of money that sits for years’ unclaimed. The person that makes you the beneficiary may forget about it or they think that the company will contact you in the event of a death. This just isn’t the case in all circumstances, and unfortunately the money just sits and collects interest. To check on a possible unclaimed pension, just go to https: //www.pbgc.gov/MissingParticipant/missingParticipantSearch.jsp.
FHA insured mortgages also offer refunds, but if you have moved without a forwarding address, the refund will be sent back to HUD/FHA where it could sit for years. To check on a possible refund go too http: //www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/comp/refunds/index.cfm.
Many people have relatives that suffered in the Holocaust with victim assets just sitting in litigation against Swiss bank accounts. Now those funds can be claimed by the rightful owners. Just go too http: //www.swissbankclaims.com/index.asp.
Life insurance policies are seldom found in searches of state unclaimed property sites. That’s because insurance companies hold the funds until they have no reasonable expectation that the insured are living, and only then does the policy value get transferred from the company to the state as unclaimed property. This transfer typically takes place three years after the insurer knows the insured have died. MIB, which also issues the insurance consumer reports, has a policy-locator service that will search for a decedent. You can find the contact information by going too http: //www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm. Once you find the firm, or its successor, you’ll be able to work with them to locate the policy and find out its current status.
Along with cash, some states have car titles and deeds to homes, as well as expensive jewelry and art, but all states make a diligent effort to locate the lost owners. Government unclaimed property programs are currently safeguarding $24 billion in 79.5 million accounts, but that number can decline drastically if the public becomes aware of potential unclaimed property just sitting. NAUPA has an extensive database that has links to many agencies, and you can also check on a persons name through their search engine. To check with NAUPA, just go to http: //www.unclaimed.org/.