I was charged $200. While this is not nothing, it is far less than the average amount of unclaimed property that others receive, which is $2,080.
California holds $13 billion worth of unclaimed property. There is even more “lost money” in New York, nearly $19 billion. Each state holds property that they can claim for free, including money sitting in bank accounts, uncashed checks, wages, stocks, insurance policies, and valuables in safe deposit boxes that belong to you or your loved ones.
According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, one in seven people in the United States has unclaimed property or money in state custody waiting to be claimed. If you need a good reason to check, February 1st is Unclaimed Property Day.
The average bill is $2,080. It's surprisingly easy and free to find out if your state, or states, owes you money, whether it's yours or a deceased family member. Read this article to find out if you have unclaimed property and how to get it. Learn more about when tax season starts and how to set up your IRS account. Learn about the possibility of your Social Security benefits increasing next year and how Social Security benefits work.
How do I find unclaimed money or property in my state?
You can find out if the state owns your property by using the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators' real estate search tool. Its U.S. map includes links to each state's website regarding unclaimed property. It also includes links to real estate search tools for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington DC, and some Canadian states. Be sure to check the state, territory or district you lived in to see if there's anything you can claim.
If you searched a while ago and didn't find anything, try searching again. “If you previously searched for your name and found no unclaimed property, or if you found and claimed property in your name, be sure to check again, as new properties are reported to the state each year. Please,” California Controller Maria Cohen told CNET. .
In most cases, you will be directed to a page where you can directly search for unclaimed properties. In some cases, you may need to click from the home page to the Unclaimed Property Search page.
To search for a property, you typically only need to enter a last name, but adding a first name, location, or address can help narrow your search.
Two other free services, MissingMoney.com and FindMyMoney, offer built-in searches on their websites, but they are not available in all states. MissingMoney.com lets you search in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Alberta, Canada, while FindMyMoney offers unique search tools for 28 states and Washington, DC. FindMyMoney links to state search engines for 23 other states.
Some states, like Ohio, are working with MissingMoney.com to help people search for property and file claims. Once a claim is submitted to MissingMoney.com, the state will handle the claim communication, verification, and final payment.
How can I file a claim with the state after I find the property?
There is no federal system to claim your property. Procedures vary by state. Also, you don't have to currently live in the state to claim property, so check other places you've previously lived.
Most states use a similar system for online shopping services. The system allows you to add the property you want to claim and “check out” by entering information such as your current address and social security number to verify your identity and prove you are the rightful owner. of the property.
After you submit your application, the state may contact you via email for further information needed to process your application. Some states may allow you to provide supporting documentation online, while others may require you to submit it by mail. Your state may keep a small amount as a holding fee. In Kentucky, it's $1 for real estate valued at more than $10.
In most states, there is no time limit for claiming property, but in some states it may be auctioned off after a certain period of time. Even then, you usually have the right to claim that value from the state.
How long will it take to get my money or property back?
The timing of receiving property varies by state, as does the claims process. For example, a California administrator says that simple claims involving cash can be resolved in 30 to 60 days. More complex claims involving multiple heirs or businesses may take up to 180 days.
Why would the state seize my property?
If an owner is not found after a certain “dormant period” (usually one to three years), the company will send the funds and property to the state-run Unclaimed Real Estate Authority. The state then stores these items until the owner requests them.
Assets can include a variety of items, including money in savings and checking accounts, stocks, pensions, life insurance policies, and the contents of safe deposit boxes. New York state currently has $18.4 billion in unclaimed property, and the state comptroller's office says it pays out $1.5 million a day.
Learn more: How to find out if you can participate in the Verizon class action settlement and all the tax breaks available to homeowners this year.