Most of us are good at keeping track of our finances. However, if you sit down and think about all the different accounts that you have, you might be surprised. Personally I have savings, checking, investment accounts, a PayPal account, an account with Amazon, and the list goes on. If I were to pass away, my heirs might miss one of the accounts (granted many of them do not contain much money). But have you ever wondered what accounts you inherited and that money is just sitting there, waiting to be redeemed?
There are millions, if not billion, of dollars that have gone unclaimed. Much of that money is in the form of unclaimed tax refunds and abandoned bank accounts, but there are other funds that need to find their home. Local governments are usually the fiduciaries of these monies; here are a few websites that will help you to locate your money.
Lately interest rates have been low; this means that treasury bonds have not been as popular as they were a couple decades ago. Many people have subsequently forgotten about bonds they purchased, or bonds that were given to them as gifts when they were born. Using Treasury Direct’s Treasure Hunt site, you can search for bonds that you own that may be sitting there stagnant waiting to be redeemed. All you need to provide is your social security number.
A surprising number of people overpay on their mortgage insurance without realizing it. If you overpaid for many years, and then you moved to a different address, there is a chance that you did not receive your refund check. Utilizing the HUD Refund Page you can do a simple search with your last name to see if you have a refund waiting for you. Naturally for you Smiths, Joneses, and others with a common last name, your search will take a little longer than mine.
National Credit Union Association
Credit unions are owned by their members; they do not issue stock and are not publicly traded. This means that when a credit union goes under, the members are entitled to a share of the liquidation (assuming that the credit union was insured and a variety of other factors). The share of money is held at full value for 18 months, after which the insurance runs out and the money is sometimes absorbed back into the failed entity. However, it takes just a couple minutes to check out the NCUA spreadsheet to see if you are entitled to a portion of the liquidation.
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
Each state is responsible for maintaining their own missing property records. The NAUPA will help you find the correct department in your state. However, some states will want you to set up an account in order to search the records. This is why the NAUPA has teamed up with Missing Money in order to make your search easier.
A quick search by last name on Missing Money will help you locate most types of forgotten or lost money. You can select to search all of the states that report to them, so even if you have moved around quite a bit you will be able to search for your missing money. If you do find something, you can fill out a simple form, and it will send all the information to the government responsible for holding the money. You should receive a reply after a week or two.
Every year money and accounts are forgotten. There is a chance that you have forgotten, or simply were not informed of, some money that is rightfully yours. Take the time to go through each of these sites and see if you have money or other assets floating around out there. 30 minutes could result in thousands of dollars coming your way.