Want to hear a scary story? One in 10 Americans has money or property that they don’t even know about.
These property graveyards are full of money that has gone unclaimed - like in old bank accounts, gift cards and stocks.
When financial institutions or companies haven’t had contact with an owner in over a set period of time, they consider the funds abandoned and turn them over to the state in a process known as “escheatment.”
States keep records of these financial ghost towns which can include forgotten paychecks, security deposits and tax refunds.
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to bring these accounts back from the dead. Over $3 billion of forgotten money is returned to Americans every year.
Visit unclaimed.org to find a database of unclaimed property in your state.
State databases are free and easy to use, so avoid any sites that charge a fee as they could be a scam.
Search for common variations of your name, like your maiden and married name, or any abbreviations you may have used.
Double check if it matches up with companies you’ve done business with, or places you’ve lived or worked.
If you’ve found money that you think belongs to you, file a claim with your state. You’ll receive instructions for how to reunite with your long lost property and bring your forgotten funds back to life.