Your Easy Guide to Finding Unclaimed Money


Your Easy Guide to Finding Unclaimed Money

By Smith & Smith & Ruiz CPA's

Imagine finding out that your money is somewhere out there, waiting for you to claim it. What would you do? Search for a fast way to get it back of course! The list below will give you a few ideas on how you can locate your long-lost money.

  • The Federal Government and Its Savings Bond Database

More than $17 billion worth of Series E Savings Bonds have never been collected as reported by the U.S Treasury. These bonds were used to encourage people to invest in their country, and were sold between 1941 and 1980. Some of these bonds were sent as gifts to family members who had simply forgotten about them. If you were ever gifted a savings bond, visit the Treasury Department savings bonds website and click on the the Individuals tab in order to gain access to the Treasury Hunt page. Within this page, you will find a big blue button labeled: Start Search. Click on it and type in your Social Security Number in order to find out if they have any bonds in your name.

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

This corporation is responsible for  protecting people’s savings when a bank is at risk of failing. It also liquidates the bank’s assets. Many of these assets remain unclaimed, so if you have proof of ownership of one of these assets, consider this your lucky day. Visit their website and click on the Consumer Protection tab  where you can search for unclaimed funds. 

  • The IRS

You can claim money owed to you by the IRS if your employer deducted money from your paycheck even though your income was not taxable. In order for you to get that money back, you need to file a return with the IRS within three years.

  • Retirement Benefits

Your retirement plan could still be waiting for you to claim it. You can search The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits to check whether your money is still in your former employer’s possession.

  • Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property includes abandoned savings or checking accounts, refunds, uncashed payroll checks, unredeemed gift certificates as well as contents of safe deposit boxes. State law requires companies to turn over unused gift cards and  services fees to the state for safekeeping. Luckily, there is a website that links you to every state’s unclaimed property database. This website belongs to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. You can use this site to gain access to another helpful database called

  • Life Insurance

A staggering $62 billion in life insurance money goes unclaimed by its beneficiaries. Sometimes, relatives of the deceased fail to notify the insurance company about the policyholder’s death, so the money goes unclaimed for years. Beneficiaries can also be entitled to National Life Insurance Settlement Payments even if they had already received life insurance money. These payments were issued as a result of a government audit of 21 life insurance companies. The audit revealed that these companies  were still deducting payments even after they knew policyholders were deceased.

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