Friday, December 14, 2007

Do You Have Money You Don't Know About?

Several years ago, I came across a site that promised to provide information about unclaimed funds. (Oprah had a segment about this particular site, so we trusted it.) When you performed a search on the site, it came up with pages and pages of results. My coworkers and I decided to pay the fee for full access. Once we paid, the results were different. Hhmm, apparently the results before you paid the fee included everyone with the same last name...across the US. One of my coworkers found money that belonged to her brother, so she gave him the info. I'm glad that it worked out for them. I got to thinking. Since I know you can find almost any information on the net for free.... I decided to do some research. Here were my results.

In the US, every state has a comptroller. The comptroller's department is responsible for uncliamed funds. Each state has a website that contains the site for the comptroller. On the comptroller's site you can perform a search with your information and get immediate results.

What are unclaimed funds?
Unclaimed funds consist of tax refund checks, abandoned bank accounts, insurance payouts, utility deposits and other forms of funds that have not been claimed. How does this happen? Sometimes when people move, checks are delivered to the old address and never forwarded to the new one. Bank accounts could have been opened for you by an adult without your knowledge. You may have moved and never received your utility deposit refund. These are just a few examples.

How can you receive your unclaimed funds?
If the site says you have unclaimed funds, you will be asked to download a form. Fill out the form and follow the instructions.

Several months ago, I was bored and visited the site. I decided to enter the names of my family and friends. What did I find? My dad, cousin and ex's uncle all had unclaimed funds just sittiung there. I contacted my ex and he immediately informed his uncle. I was told he received his money My dad doesn't have access to the internet, so we're waiting for him to return to NY. I just got in touch with my cousin on Thanksgiving Day. He was thrilled with the knowledge that he had a check waiting for him. His tax refund was delivered to his old address.

Unexpected money. Wouldn't that be a great surprise!? I've included the link to the NYS Comptroller's office. Hope you find a surprise for the holidays!

NYS Comptroller Unclaimed Funds

3 comments:

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Unclaimed funds can often be obtained several ways. I like the way the author pointed out a few of these ways here.

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I think it would be good to check unclaimed funds through a good tax prepper.