Unclaimed Funds Could Be Answer to Financial Distress

We all go through periods in our lives where we find our selves looking through coat pockets, purses and cars for money to carry us over until payday. When we are really desperate we go to the bank of last resort: under the couch cushions. For many of us there is a potentially more lucrative option to ease our financial distress: the unclaimed funds list.

You may, on occasion, see lists of names in a local newspaper. Rather than wait for the lists to be published again or to see lists from other states, go to the site http://www.unclaimed.org/. Although not all instances of unclaimed funds can be found there it is the best place to start your search. Once there, you can search individual states where you have lived or done business and find out if you have left behind any property you can claim.

Sources of Unclaimed Funds

While we all like to think we keep track of our money and would never leave any scattered about and forgotten, the fact is there are many place were money can be left apparently abandoned.

Defunct bank accounts – It is surprisingly easy to forget about a bank account which contains only a small balance when you move. Larger accounts can be sometimes remain unknown because they were started by grandparents or parents when children were little. Sometimes grandparents lose touch with the children and the parents or the parents divorce, both parties move and neither attends to the child’s bank account.

Insurance policies – When someone dies with a policy in place the beneficiary may not be aware of the policy. If the policy was a whole life policy as opposed to a term policy, the insurance company in question may use any accumulated cash value to pay the premium unless they have been notified of the death. Any funds that are still there can be claimed. Regardless of the type of policy a death certificate will need to be submitted.

Money won on online game sites – At many gaming sites there are two ways to win, either you win the game you are participating in or your efforts are rewarded with an entry into a drawing held periodically. Cease going to the site and if you miss an email they send you then you will have no idea that you have won.

Pension benefits – Many people have left jobs without realizing the had become vested in a pension fund, while others may have known at the time that they were entitled to a pension but over the years have forgotten.

Uncashed paycheck – Those who have failed to cash a paycheck either because it was damaged or lost can sometimes find their missing wages among the unclaimed funds.

Unclaimed federal or state income tax refund – Sometimes our tax refunds don’t find us but they still belong to us and end up in unclaimed funds.

Utility deposits – When signing up for utilities a hefty deposit is usually required to ensure you don’t leave owing the utility company money. If you discontinue services you are entitled to that deposit back minus any monies you may owe from your last bill.

Foreclosed property – If property is auctioned for money owed on a mortgage or for taxes for more than owed, you are entitled to the difference.

In most cases it isn’t just the money listed in your name you can collect. Although it involves a little more work, if you are the heir of someone who is owed unclaimed funds you can file for the money. Any funds found will need to be dispersed among all the deceased’s beneficiaries.

When hunting for money that may be owed, http://www.unclaimed.org/ is the best place to start. From there you can expand your search to include insurance companies you or a family member used or former employers and union offices where you or they were employed.

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