Unclaimed Money: 'GMA' Helps Viewers Cash In on Unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds, Forgotten Funds

"GMA" shows you how to track down forgotten funds that are rightfully yours.

June 16, 2011, 9:55 AM

June 16, 2011— -- All week "Good Morning America" has helped people cash in and find unclaimed money in our series, "Show Me the Money."

"GMA" consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy helped one family get their share of the $16.3 billion in unredeemed savings bonds held at the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt.

Tuesday, we helped the Shaluta family of West Virginia get nearly $15,000 in unclaimed money that Vickie Shaluta didn't know her mother had left her when she died.

After helping people find cash they didn't even know they had, we got a huge response online. Our website was flooded with viewers who caught the "unclaimed money fever."

D'anne John tried our tips and wrote into our website saying that it worked. "I found money for my sister, my mom, my mother-in-law, nephew, and my husband. I love GMA!!!"

Latonya Davison told us her success story: "I was owed $60 from an old cell phone account. The state of Florida had it. It's legit."

Now, it's your turn to cash in. There are 117 million unclaimed money listings across the country waiting to be reunited with their rightful owners.

CLICK HERE for 11 ways to find unclaimed cash.

CLICK HERE to read our step-by-step guide to how to find unredeemed savings bonds!

CLICK HERE for tips and tricks on finding unclaimed money left by a loved one.

Your Unclaimed Money Questions Answered!

Hundreds of viewers sent in specific questions about ways to find unclaimed money. Below are Elisabeth Leamy's responses from "GMA."

1. Sandra in Ocoee, Fla., asked: "I had a bank account in my maiden name that I never closed. How do I begin to search?"

Leamy answered: The most basic search you can do is at a free website run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, www.unclaimed.org, that will link you to the appropriate department in your state that holds the funds. There's a big map there and you just click on a state to search it. You should search every single state where you have ever lived and the state where the bank is based because sometimes the money goes there. Everybody should always search every name they've ever been known by. This especially applies to women who change their name when they get married.

2. Mary in Blountsville, Ala., asked: "I've lived in several states. How can I search for unclaimed funds in many states?"

Leamy answered: If you want to search several states at the same time, there's another free website, called www.missingmoney.com where you can do that. There's a drop down menu. You just have to choose "all states" for your search. But it's not all 50. There are a few that don't participate. Check those and if you lived in any of them, go back and search non-participating states individually at www.unclaimed.org. Again, be sure to search every state where you've lived and every name you have had.

3. Fatima in Buffalo, N.Y., asked: "My dad passed away approximately 11 year ago, and I'm not sure if he left any unclaimed funds. How do I go about finding funds he may have been left?"

How Find Unclaimed Money

Leamy answered: You'll use these same websites, but then you're going to need some identifying information to know that it's your dad and his money. You're going to need his Social Security number and even more so, you're going to need every past address that he lived at that you can get your hands on. If you find something, you're of course going to have prove that you're the rightful heir and you'll also need a death certificate to prove that he has passed away.

4. Joyce from Chicago, Ill., wrote: "My mother bought some savings bonds for me many years ago. I can't find the paperwork. What can I do to locate these bonds? Is there a central location where I can find them?"

Leamy answered: The Treasury Department has the "Treasury Hunt" website where you can search for savings bonds in your family's name. All you have to do is put in your Social Security number and Social Security number of the person who gave you the bond and the site returns results instantly. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to try it out.

You Asked, We Answered: Expert answers more of your unclaimed money questions here!

CLICK HERE for 11 ways to find unclaimed cash.

CLICK HERE to read our step-by-step guide to how to find unredeemed savings bonds!

CLICK HERE for tips and tricks on finding unclaimed money left by a loved one.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events