Antigone London, the former president of the Harwich Junior Women’s Club in Massachusetts, is working with associates to donate $37,000 in unclaimed money the organization found owed to them. The money was once abandoned property, but London found it after searching for her own unclaimed funds. For millions of Americans, these funds are out there, sitting and waiting to be claimed.
What Is Unclaimed Money?
Unclaimed money is any type of funds in financial institution accounts or with companies that hasn’t had some type of activity by the owner for at least a year. It has not been “touched” by the owners or generated earnings during this time. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators reports that $3.235 billion worth of the funds were paid out by government agencies in 2015.
There are numerous forms of it including stocks, money in checking or savings accounts, unredeemed gift certificates, money orders, life insurance policy refunds, annuities, customer overpayments, utility security deposits and even the contents of safe deposit boxes. If no one claims these funds, they are sent to the state for disbursement. The state maintains them until claimed.
How to “Find” Unclaimed Money
In Texas, State Treasurer John Kennedy made a name for himself as he worked to transform the way unclaimed property was processed. As a result, he helped many people get back the funds they unknowingly left behind.
There are multiple ways for individuals to reclaim these funds. Most states have a database of records that can be searched from the treasurer’s website. MissingMoney.com and Unclaimed.org are national websites that allow individuals to search for state, federal, and even local funds.
Here’s an important tip. Claims for this property go on long-term. Even a person’s heirs can claim the money owed to them after the death of a family member. With so much available and considered abandoned, most citizens should take steps to find what is rightfully theirs.