So there you have it: five members of a single extended family found out they have money coming to them that they knew nothing about! I remain amazed at how common it is. Alas, I myself have no money waiting anywhere because I am way too compulsive and organized to have left money behind! But I don't begrudge you your chance! Here, once again, are all of the free state and federal resources for locating unclaimed money.
There are billions of dollars waiting to be claimed. Fortunately, searching to see if some of that money belongs to you is easy thanks to the internet. Most unclaimed money is held by the states, but some is housed with Federal agencies. In both instances, the government is earning interest on YOUR money. Here's how you can search to claim what's rightfully yours:
If you are searching for things like forgotten apartment security deposits, un-cashed overtime checks, lost insurance refunds or abandoned safe deposit boxes, your first stop is the states. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has set up a free website,www.unclaimed.org that will link you to the appropriate department in your state that holds the funds. NAUPA also endorses a free but on a commercially-run site called www.missingmoney.com. Be sure to search every state where you've lived and every name you have had.
Everybody looks forward to getting an income tax refund check, but if yours didn't arrive, what do you do? The IRS now provides a "Where's my Refund?" feature on its website. You can look up your missing check by entering the amount you are owed plus your social security number. That website is: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96596,00.html?portlet=4
The proceeds of lost life insurance policies may turn up in your state search. If not, and you suspect you are the beneficiary of a loved one's lost life insurance policy, you can hire a company called MIB Solutions to search for you. MIB is a private company that houses life insurance application information for much of the industry. It costs $75 to search. Go to www.mibsolutions.com.
If you didn't collect your money when your bank went under, chances are your account was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the FDIC is holding your money. Find out, here: www2.fdic.gov/funds/index.aspx.
If your money was in a credit union as it failed, the National Credit Union Association can help you. Check out: www.ncua.gov/resources/assetmgmtcenter/unclaimed.aspx.
If you are owed a pension from a company that went under, simple, there is a Federal agency that safeguards private pensions. Go to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporations website at: http://www.pbgc.gov/wr/trusteed/plans.html.