One of my friends e-mailed me the other day with a very cryptic subject line: Unclaimed Money. Normally these types of e-mails go straight to my spam folder but since it was from a friend, I figured there might be some validity to it. Sure enough, when I opened it up I saw a screen shot of my name and a former address. Right under that information was a cash balance of $10.73!
Now I know $11 isn’t big bucks or anything but it was pretty cool to see a government program that was giving me money back. And to be honest, I don’t even remember opening up this bank account but the address was from a house I lived in during my junior year of college over 8 years ago!
Where Does This Money Come From?
Apparently there are state officials out there who’s job it is to reunite you and your unclaimed money. The money could be from past jobs, insurance claims, pretty much anything. There is a lot of unclaimed money out there so I’m surprised that there isn’t some sort of statute of limitations that says after 5 years, the government gets to keep your money. In fact, that might be easier since now the government probably has millions of tiny balances that it has to keep track of. I will give California credit though since their unclaimed property search tool worked pretty flawlessly and I was able to submit my claim online too!
Who Else Has Money?
I ended up doing a few searches for family and friends and I found balances on 3 of the first 5 people I searched. My dad had a dollar haha! My fiancee had a $40 payroll check from a company she worked for in high school and my mother in law had a $40 check from an insurance company. I didn’t have time to go and search everyone I knew but I’ve heard that if you have ever owned any type of business you could have some big bucks waiting for you that you never even knew about.
If you live in California like I do, the search tool can be accessed here: https://ucpi.sco.ca.gov/ucp/Default.aspx
While you’re at it, type in 5-10 of your friends/family members’ names and see if their names pop up. It would be cool if we could get a Pay It Forward type thing going on here and everyone gets their money back!
If you don’t live in California, have no fear, here’s a great search tool that lets you select your state: http://www.unclaimed.org/
Apparently there is a lot of unclaimed money out there so if you end up finding big bucks feel free to buy me a drink next time you see me. Here’s another good resource on federal unclaimed property: http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Government-Unclaimed-Money.shtml
Readers, what do you think about all this unclaimed property out there? Were you able to find anything for yourself? Everyone that I found had less than $50 but my friend’s dad(business owner) had over a thousand dollars in unclaimed property!
-Harry @ PF Pro
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.