Does the government have your property?

Have you moved around much in the past? Is there any chance that you might have left behind some of your unclaimed property in the moving?

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is a non-profit organization that organizes part of the effort to reconnect owners with their lost money or property; states individually run their own databases on the NAUPA site.

According to NAUPA, did you know…

  • All states have unclaimed property programs that actively find owners of lost and forgotten assets – Unclaimed property refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
  • Unclaimed property is one of the original consumer protection programs – Each state has enacted an unclaimed property statute that protects your funds from reverting back to the company if you have lost contact with them. These laws instruct companies to turn forgotten funds over to a state official who will then make a diligent effort to find you or your heirs.
  • Claims can be made into perpetuity in most cases, even by heirs – Some businesses may offer searches for a fee, but the same information is available free at MissingMoney or NAUPA’s site.

If there’s a chance you might have left some money behind, take a look at the sites to find out how to claim your money!

About Revanche

Revanche writes the personal finance blog A Gai Shan Life.