You May Have More Money Than You Think, You Just Have To Know Where To Look
(StraightNews.org) – Do you know where all of your money is? It seems ridiculous, but approximately 1 in 10 people in America have either never received or forgotten about money they should have. Whether you forgot to claim that refund or forgot about an old account with funds still in it, you may have some unclaimed cash waiting for you. If you or someone you love thinks they may have some unclaimed money, options are available to help you find and reclaim it.
It is more complex than you might realize to keep up with where all of your money is. Many Americans have multiple accounts open at different institutions, making it relatively easy to forget about one or two of them.
Most financial institutions have a limit on how long an account can be inactive before they close it down. Usually, this is a one-year time limit. Once you reach that deadline, the account is closed, and you may lose access to funds that were in there. This can happen when you have changed your contact information but not updated it with that institution. Since they cannot prove you are the owner or even still alive, these companies will then keep the money in the account. It seems unfair, but the process is similar to an abandoned storage unit or items left on a property. If the owners cannot be located, then the company or owner can seize and sell off the items within.
What Kinds of Unclaimed Money is Out There?
Unclaimed money comes in many forms. This can include forgotten accounts, unclaimed security deposits, or even unpaid refunds or wages. It is more common than you might think for owners to forget about funds in an account they rarely touch. Maybe you never received that tax refund, a final paycheck from an old job, or unclaimed money from a bankruptcy or a foreign government.
While there are many different types of unclaimed money, the process for finding and claiming is similar across the board. The most important thing is to keep careful track of your finances so you can determine what sources of unclaimed money are available to you.
How to Locate Your Unclaimed Money
Finding your unclaimed money doesn’t have to be a hassle. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has created a program that makes finding your unclaimed funds easier than it used to be. If you think you are owed unclaimed money, you can search their website here. Remember, unclaimed money can include an old security deposit, an untouched account, or much more. If you notice any discrepancies in your financial records, these may be sources of unclaimed money available to you.
Depending on your state, there may be slightly different processes to follow, especially if you think you are owed money from a state you no longer live in. Regardless, you will first need to provide your name, tax ID number, and/or your business name. If you find that you are owed money, you will need to file a claim. Claims will require you to provide proof of ownership before they are processed. Using the NAUPA search, people have reclaimed over $3 billion in unclaimed funds.
Losing access to your own money can be frustrating, but knowing what to look for can make the process of reclaiming lost funds more manageable and more convenient. Performing a NAUPA search is the best way to determine if you or someone you love is owed unclaimed money and what steps to take to get it back.
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