I ‘discovered’ $140 of my very own cash on an unclaimed property web site, and it took simply 5 minutes to say it

I 'found' $140 of my own money on an unclaimed property website, and it took just 5 minutes to claim it

  • I used the web site MissingMoney.com to seek for any unclaimed property the state was holding on my behalf and located over $140.
  • The state holds onto unclaimed property, corresponding to insurance coverage overpayments or unreturned safety deposits, till it is claimed by its proprietor.
  • It took me simply 5 minutes to search out my cash and fill out my types, and the checks have been within the mail about two months later.
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No one turns down the possibility to get free cash, proper? Irrespective of the supply, there’s simply one thing particular concerning the feeling you get while you come throughout cash you were not anticipating. 

For me, I acquired that nice feeling when I discovered $140.43 of my very own “lacking” cash sitting in my state’s unclaimed property fund. It took about 5 minutes to fill out a couple of types, mail them in, after which about two months of ready, however finally the checks have been within the mail.

What are unclaimed funds?

Unclaimed property is property, cash, or accounts held usually by monetary establishments the place there has not been any exercise for a specified time. Typically this could be no exercise for one yr or longer. If the corporate cannot discover the property proprietor to return or refund the cash, then it will get turned over to the federal government. 

One instance of this could be somebody who leaves their condo with out offering a forwarding deal with to their landlord. The owner has a safety deposit to return, however has no means of finding his former tenant. The owner cannot legally preserve the cash, so after a sure time period has passed by, she should flip over the safety deposit cash to the federal government. 

States return over $3,000,000,000 in funds every year to their rightful homeowners.


MissingMoney.com is a web site that collates the unclaimed funds from 40 US states, the District of Columbia, and one Canadian province (Alberta). Whereas it’s not an official authorities web site in that it is not run by the federal government, it’s endorsed by these jurisdictions, which share the unclaimed funds knowledge.



It’s unlucky that MissingMoney.com’s affiliation with these authorities entities is just not extra apparent on its web site. I had a couple of associates marvel if it was a rip-off web site. It isn’t, however should you really feel nervous about coming into your data there, you’ll be able to all the time do an Web seek for your state’s unclaimed funds division and work with them straight.

Filling out the unclaimed funds types

It’s free to seek for cash, both by MissingMoney.com or by the official state or province unclaimed funds division websites. 

MissingMoney search


MissingMoney.com does restrict outcomes to 200 at a time, so chances are you’ll have to refine your search. Be certain to attempt completely different combos of your identify — together with your center preliminary or not, checking nicknames and different spellings of your identify. Additionally, seek for any states that you have ever lived in. 

My first and final names are each fairly frequent, so I wanted to place in my center preliminary and metropolis, however I discovered two completely different sources of lacking cash. Completely different states have completely different guidelines about what they’re legally allowed to show — in Ohio, it might solely show both Over $100 or Beneath $100. In my case, I discovered one in every of every. 

Via MissingMoney.com, I used to be in a position to enter my data and fill out a declare kind for each of those sources of cash. It turned out that one was from Capital One Investing for $120.16, and the opposite supply of my lacking cash was Incomm Monetary, for $18.93.

I printed off each of the declare types and despatched them to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds in separate envelopes. Ohio’s regulation states that you need to additionally ship a duplicate of your ID and requires a notary just for funds over $1,000. Different jurisdictions have barely completely different procedures.

Telling my family and friends

After I discovered this lacking cash for myself, I began placing within the names of everybody I knew. It felt somewhat stalker-y, however I figured no one would flip down the possibility to get some free cash. Of all of the household and associates whose names I entered in, I might estimate about 30-40% of them returned again with lacking cash. I despatched off a couple of fast emails to allow them to know — hopefully they, too, can get somewhat additional windfall.

Getting my cash

After discovering my identify on the unclaimed funds web site to start with of April, I crammed out the types and submitted them to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds later that week. I then promptly forgot about it. A couple of months later, one in every of my coworkers talked about that that they had gotten their cash after I had talked about it. 

I searched and located that Ohio’s Division of Unclaimed Funds has a standing checker (I assume most different states and provinces are related). I put in my declare numbers and noticed that that they had been processed. Positive sufficient, my two checks arrived within the mail inside the week. Begin to end, it took about two months from the time I spent 5 minutes filling out a kind and mailing it till I acquired my cash.

Positive, $140.43 is not a ton of cash, however it certain is healthier than nothing. Be certain to test your personal identify at MissingMoney.com to see if they’re holding any of your cash.

Disclosure: This submit is delivered to you by the Private Finance Insider group. We often spotlight monetary services and products that may assist you to make smarter choices together with your cash. We don’t give funding recommendation or encourage you to undertake a sure funding technique. What you determine to do together with your cash is as much as you. If you happen to take motion primarily based on one in every of our suggestions, we get a small share of the income from our commerce companions. This doesn’t affect whether or not we characteristic a monetary services or products. We function independently from our promoting gross sales group.

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