Have you ever checked to see if there are unclaimed funds in your name? This is for real. Sometimes checks get lost or for whatever reason they don’t get to you, and so your state has to keep them as unclaimed property – until you come claim them.

Lucky for us, the internet now offers an easy and free way to find out if you’re one of the lucky ones. It’s also fun!

Since I live in New York, I started with New York State unclaimed funds website search form. Although there was nothing listed for me in my own name (darn!), I found stuff for a bunch of people I know and sent them each links to possible funds long forgotten. It felt kind of like Christmas. I even looked up BUSINESS names out of curiosity and found lots of unclaimed property listed for them too. Wheeeee!

So, if you’re from New York, just click on the link above and give it a shot! There are also sites for other states as well as a general one that doesn’t have all listings yet, but still worth trying. (See below.) But I suggest trying your state’s own site first, if there is one. (You can google to find it if it’s not listed below.)

If your name does show up, it might only be a few dollars, but then again…you never know! It’s absolutely FREE to look – and also free to claim the property if it’s yours.

HINT: When looking up names using the state’s search form, remember to play with variations of the spelling of the person’s or company’s name since a silly typo may be the very reason it sits unclaimed. Also, less is more when searching. With a person’s name, for example, you can use all, most, or part of the last name (depending on how common it is) and only the first initial of the first name. This might get you a result you might not find with the whole name.

Same for a business. For The Walt Disney Company, for example, the funds may be under “Walt Disney” “Disney” “THE Walt Disney” or even “Dinsey”. Try as many variations as you can think of before giving up. For one friend I found listings under a few different spellings and even a nickname.

MORE SITES: For your convenience, here are a few more sites I found just googling the words “unclaimed funds” or “unclaimed property” and the name of the state (usually part of the Comptroller’s/Controller’s Office or the State Treasury or Dept. of Taxation):

California Controller’s Office

New Jersey Division of Taxation (takes you to another approved site)

Pennsylvania Treasury

Texas State Comptroller

By the way…if you do your own web search, when you get the results you want, click on the FREE state site, not any site that will charge you money. There is no cost to you and usually, all you have to do is fill out a form and mail it in (and maybe get it notarized first).

The Texas site also kindly provides these links to other sites:

State Programs:

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has information about unclaimed property in other states.

Missingmoney.com is a free national search for unclaimed property.

Federal Programs:

Pension benefits:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Homeowner refunds:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Locating Individual Indian Money (IIM) Account Holders:

US Department of the Interior, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians

Although, as I said, I found no money for myself, I had an absolute blast finding possible surprise “windfalls” for friends and family. And who knows…maybe for you too!

Good luck! Oh…and please feel free to pass this on. (-;


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November 24, 2007 by Ronnie Ann