The Balanced Spreadsheet-Financial News, Budget Advice, Debt help, Financial Tips, and other advice

October 13, 2009

Unclaimed Funds

Filed under: Personal Finance, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — thebalancedspreadsheet @ 2:26 pm


What typically comes to your mind at the end of October?  Leaves changing colors? Halloween costumes? Candy corn?  Pumpkins?  Unclaimed Property?  What the heck is unclaimed property you ask?

Unclaimed property defined

Unclaimed property simply put is property that the owner has not used or has had activity on in over a year.  It can include things such as bank accounts, certificates of deposit, security deposits, or even paychecks.  Once a year companies that have these unclaimed funds or dormant accounts are required to submit their unclaimed funds to each state.  The individual states then take the money and set up their own database to try and find the rightful owners.  The owners must then go through their respective state unclaimed department to claim their money.

Most states required their annual filing to be completed by November 1st.  I am in charge of my companies unclaimed filing process and it is not the most enjoyable thing to do.  Once the money is transferred to the state there is a ton of bureaucracy and red tape to go through to get your money.

Search for and claiming unclaimed property

The National Association of Unclaimed Administrators (NAUPA) has a website that will link you to all 50 state’s website where you can search for unclaimed property.  The website is  Be prepared though to jump through a lot of hoops to get our money.  Often times you will need to get a specific document signed or notarized, and even have to provide proof that you had lived at the last known address or had a business relationship with the company in question.  Considering these funds are sometimes 5, 10, 15, or even 20+ years old the odds are you probably do not have documentation from then.  However if you are able to claim your money it can be a nice little unexpected bonus.

With all that said it is probably worth it to put in your name in your states search engine and see if anything pops up.  Has anybody ever found unclaimed funds?


1 Comment »

  1. I had a piddly 401(k)that had been indirectly abandoned for a number of years. I had always known about it, but did not get around to claiming it until 2008.

    I merely notified the admin of the account for the name of the appropriate person to contact for the money. Once I contacted that person, I had the money within a month. There wasn’t any red tape whatsoever probably because the individuals who received contact letters from me were all via certified mail with return receipt. This generally denotes that the inquirer is not screwing around.

    I’m sure had I written correspondences that made it sound like I was John Q. Clueless American, the outcome would have been an entirely different story.

    Comment by Peyton Farquhar — February 22, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

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