January 4. 2012 | Jeffrey Walsh
Do You Own Hidden Treasure?
Recently I came across a website where you can see if someone owes you money. The website, MissingMoney.com, is a national database established in 1999 for unclaimed property. Searches can be performed for yourself as well as for family members, friends, and businesses.
By law, if a company owes you money but is unable to find you, they must turn it over to the state. The website currently allows you to run a comprehensive search for unclaimed assets in 39 states and provinces, and is working on adding more.
How does money get lost? There are many ways. People move, change their name, or get married. Sometimes a company simply doesn’t have the right address on file, or a check is lost and doesn’t get cashed. It’s also not unusual for someone to pass away without leaving a record of their owned assets.
Common types of unclaimed property include:
- Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
- Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, dividends
- Uncashed checks and wages
- Insurance policies, CD’s, trust funds
- Utility deposits, escrow accounts
When browsing through search results, you’ll see that unclaimed assets have been reported by a diverse group of companies and governments. Among them, I saw PEPCO, Citibank, Toyota Motor Credit, and MetLife, as well as Prince George’s County and State of North Carolina.
The website also has links to other websites where you can find more unclaimed assets that are being held by the government. Examples include savings bonds, tax refunds, retirement accounts, mortgage insurance refunds, and more.
MissingMoney.com is owned by ACS Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse, which is owned by Xerox. The website is endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
So next time you have a spare moment and feel lucky, go to MissingMoney.com. There may be some unclaimed property waiting for you. Happy Treasure Hunting!
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