Are You Missing Out on Money?

Did you know the government might have some of your hard-earned money, is dying to return it to you, but just doesn’t know where to find you? It’s true! When people move, or addresses are entered incorrectly, companies often end up with money they owe folks but they can’t track them down to give it to them. So they turn the money over to the state government, who puts it in a big vault where the governor swims in it Scrooge McDuck style—just kidding, that last part doesn’t happen (that I’m aware of). The government then puts the information about the unclaimed property online in a searchable database. This is where you come in!

Simply go to the website containing your state’s database and search for yourself and family. I found a fair bit of money owed me and $7,000+ (!!!) of stock owed to my step-sister. The procedure for claiming the money varies from state to state. Sometimes you just fill out a form online, sometimes you print something out and mail it in, sometimes you even have to have it notarized if it’s a big enough amount of money.

Use this map to find the database of each state you want to search. You should search each state you’ve ever lived in. To make things easier, many of the states have also put their listings on a centralized database at Missing Money. You can visually see which states participate in this centralized database here. Local Chicago Cheapasses will note that Illinois is not part of the Missing Money site. They will instead need to go here to search for their lost booty.

Happy hunting!

By Brian Wolf

Brian Wolf is a financial planner who helps people figure out how to afford a comfortable retirement, pay for their kids' college education, or buy their dream home. More information can be found on his website He was also one of the first investors in Protein Bar, a Chicago restaurant favorite.

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