Most of us are very good at keeping a watchful eye over our money. So when I found out the percentage of people who have unclaimed property, I was shocked. I’d thought the number would be very small.
But it isn’t. It turns out that about 1 in 10 Americans have unclaimed property. And it could come from anywhere: it could be missing money from a local bank, a tax refund check or a security deposit, to name a few.
Surprised? I was too. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators or NAUPA, about 10% of people have unclaimed property.
By law, each state has to return the missing property it holds to their rightful owners. But sometimes, they can’t locate them for various reasons.
The figures involved are quite large too. US states return more than $3 billion every year. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t operate a central database to obtain unclaimed assets. Each government agency keeps its own records.
Luckily, several legitimate websites make it easy to find missing money. Read on to learn which are the best free sites to find your unclaimed money.
The top websites to find unclaimed money or property
MissingMoney.com and Unclaimed.org allow you to search for unclaimed property. Both websites are free and easy to use. Unclaimed.org is the NAUPA’s official website and MissingMoney.com is sponsored by the NAUPA itself.
How does Unclaimed.org work?
Unclaimed.org links to the official unclaimed property websites of all 50 US states. Just click on your state to connect to the relevant government landing page. Once there, enter your name to start your search.
If you’ve lived in or conducted business in other states, you should run a separate search for each state.
Is Unclaimed.org legit?
Yes, Unclaimed.org is the official website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The NAUPA is itself a network of the National Association of State Treasurers, which is based in Washington, DC.
I tested the website and while it didn’t find any unclaimed money for myself, it found unclaimed money for my friend Michelle P. Here are the screenshots.
Michelle went to unclaimed.org and clicked “Find and Claim.”
After selecting her state, she landed in her state comptroller’s website. Once there, she completed the following form:
Michelle found out that she had an unredeemed gift certificate from a retail store. It dated back to 2015, but the money was still there.
A few weeks after filing her claim, she received her $100 gift certificate. That’s some nice found money!
How does MissingMoney.com work?
MissingMoney.com is another legit website where you can run a free online search for missing money. MissingMoney.com has one main advantage over Unclaimed.org: you can search all states at once with one query.
To begin your missing money search, enter your name in MissingMoney’s search box. The website then matches your name with all the potential assets you can claim, listing them by:
- State where the property is held
- Last address associated with the name you entered
- The company that reported the missing property
- Whether the amount is under or over $100
MissingMoney found the same unredeemed gift certificate for Michelle that Unclaimed.org had found. And the entire process took her less than 5 minutes.
» Further reading: Google hack to find savings before you buy online.
Other sites to find unclaimed money or assets
If you didn’t find any unclaimed property using the websites above, you may still be able to find missing money. Here’s some additional government-sponsored websites you can try for free.
Even if you found unclaimed property, it still makes sense to check the sites below. Just make sure the type of benefit they offer applies to your particular situation.
You may be eligible for a mortgage insurance premium refund from HUD/FHA if you had an FHA-insured mortgage and paid it off.
Find it in the refunds page of hud.gov or call 1-800-697-6967.
The National Credit Union Administration is responsible for paying the share accounts to the members of liquidated credit unions.
The NCUA could be holding funds for you if your credit union had federal insurance and was liquidated.
Check their unclaimed deposit listings to search for your name.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also holds unclaimed funds from closed banks.
Access their unclaimed funds page to search their computer system and look for unclaimed funds that may belong to you.
You can find unclaimed US securities and payments using TreasuryDirect’s Treasury Hunt service. Visit their website and start a search for a possible match between you and a security or payment you may be due.
The tool is free and is affiliated to the US Department of the Treasury.
If you or someone in your family was a service member, you can visit the Veterans Benefits Administration and search for unclaimed funds from life insurance.
The VA’s unclaimed funds search excludes funds from Service Members’ Group Life Insurance and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance policies from 1965 to the present.
Lastly, you should check whether uncle Sam owes you a tax refund check. The IRS could owe you a tax refund check if it went unclaimed or it was undelivered.
MissingMoney.com is legit. The website is sponsored by the NAUPA – the foremost authority on unclaimed property.
NAUPA stands for National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. It facilitates collaboration among unclaimed property administrators in all 50 US states and DC.
The most common forms of unclaimed property include checking and savings accounts, uncashed checks, stocks, overpayments, and security deposits among others.
You can find unclaimed property by conducting a free search on Unclaimed.org or MissingMoney.com
Some of these firms may be legit and others may be scams. You can always run a free search at Unclaimed.org, MissingMoney.com or TreasuryDirect.gov to find unclaimed property.
Yes. Unclaimed.org is the website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. NAUPA’s members consist of unclaimed property administrators representing the government of all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico and others.