Early this year we finally took our almost 4 year old daughter to see the dentist for the first time. My husband found a wonderful little children’s dentistry practice and the whole experience was great except for one major issue, the billing. We were charged a $50 deductible, even though looking through the benefits page it looked like everything should be covered. The dental office reassured us that they would promptly refund the $50 as soon as they find out about our coverage, but we needed to pay for now. Ok fine. Fast forward 3.5 months later, I call my dental insurance company and find out not only has the claim been paid in full over a month ago, but we were right! in that we didn’t have to pay the $50 deductible since all prophylactic services are covered 100%. I felt pretty peeved because I wondered, if we never followed-up on this matter, would they never have refunded us our money back? This in turn prompted a memory about unclaimed properties and I forget where I originally heard about it, but there’s a website for every state that allows you to search to see if you have any “unclaimed property.”
Some examples of unclaimed properties are:
- Outstanding payroll and vendor checks.
- Matured certificates of deposit.
- Savings and checking accounts.
- Uncashed dividends.
- Unclaimed securities.
- Principal on debt.
- Uncashed money orders, cashiers checks, travelers checks, and other official checks.
- Unreturned and unused security deposits.
- Accounts receivable credit balances and discounts due.
- Escrow balances.
- Property held by courts and other governmental entities.
- Amounts due under terms of insurance policies.
In the state of California alone, the controller site states they are in possession of $8 BILLION in Unclaimed Property belonging to approximately 32.5 million individuals and organizations. Isn’t that crazy? I remember searching myself, my entire family and a slew of friends and found a lot of miscellaneous amounts of money here and there for them, mostly under $20, but also including one that was $400 and over $1000. So do yourself a favor and search yourself and your family and friends and see if you have any Unclaimed Property lying around. That’s my public service announcement for the week. One warning I’ll say is that in the case of the amount that was over $1000, it’s been a real pain collecting that money. You have to get things notarized and collect a bunch of documents and mail it in and even then we were asked to give further documentation for proof. But smaller amounts can be claimed electronically on the state controller’s site. This is for California.
I have to start with my home state. Here’s California’s Site!
This is the national database called MissingMoney.com. The name sounds shady I know, but it’s a legitimate site. The tagline on the website states: State and provincial governments working together to safeguard and return your lost funds. Note however, that not all states are signed up with this database.
Here’s Unclaimed Money from the Government site. I couldn’t really figure out how to search it though. Maybe you’ll have better luck!
Below are links to the other 49 states (in alphabetical order) and Washington D.C. last since it’s not really a state. But you can also just google unclaimed property <your state>. If you’ve lived in other states, you should search those too. All links were in working order as of the date this post was published.
Happy hunting! I hope you’re able to claim lost money for yourself and/or your family and friends. Let me know if you were able to find a significant amount in the comments below!