Found Money

May 24, 2010 | Posted By: Kristin Harad
On a near daily basis, my mother (a lovely woman) forwards me 'important' email she’s received that frequently turn out to be urban legends, bogus stories or digital-age chain letters. So when she emailed me last week to tell me that she had found $44 that belonged to me via I was a bit skeptical.

But it turns out that this legitimate! Bell Atlantic had tried to send me a refund check when I moved out of an apartment fourteen years ago, but I hadn’t provided them with a forwarding address. The money was now sitting with the Pennsylvania Treasurer’s Office, where I was able to file a claim for it online.

State laws require companies to turn unclaimed property over to the state treasurer, which attempts to reunite it with the proper owner. State treasurers currently hold $33 billion in unclaimed property, which includes refund and dividend checks, insurance and lawsuit payouts, securities, and safe deposit box contents. Most of the amounts are under $100 and can usually be claimed by filing a simple form, though you may need to document that are you genuine owner of the property, which could require unearthing decades-old proof of residency or ownership.

Missing Money and are both completely free services that enable you to search databases in many states. A simple search for “unclaimed property [state name]” will turn up the database for each state too, which I sometimes found a bit easier to use. Be sure to search with each state that you’ve ever lived in, and if you have a maiden name, check on that as well.

Excited by my $44 discovery, I checked with the other states where I’ve lived as well and discovered a $75 lawsuit award waiting for me in California, plus $14 from my husband’s long forgotten PayPal account. Search results also revealed money waiting for four of my cousins, an uncle and my father-in-law too!

It was fun discovering this money during my brief Internet treasure hunt, but of course I would have preferred not to have "lost" it in the first place.

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May 24, 2010 | Posted By: mudley
No found money for me; however i found TWO entries for my dad. Thanks a lot, great post!
September 22, 2010 | Posted By: Melikedadeals
Congratulations on finding your treasure. Will you buy me dinner? :)~
November 27, 2010 | Posted By: adroits
I found two of my friends benefiting from this blog. Both found 50-100 dollars through the websites that you suggested.
thanks Kristin..
December 2, 2010 | Posted By: datescan
the site linked me to my state site (Maryland) but I could not find a link for searching for any unclaimed funds databases. How do I search my state site?
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