How can this happen?
Perhaps you had an old bank account and you forgot about it. Maybe you were left money by a long lost relative but you could not be found by the estate. Perhaps you have a tax refund but you moved. You may have moved and been entitled to a refund by a utility and they did not have your new address.
What happens to this money?
The company or business does not get to keep your money. The laws vary from state to state. The process is called escheatment. If after a certain period of non-activity on a bank account or after a check has not been cashed, the funds are turned over to the state where they are held in trust usually in perpetuity. It is estimated that there is currently $41.7 billion waiting to be returned by state unclaimed property programs to their rightful owners or heirs.
How can I see if I have any unclaimed property?
There is a web site www.unclaimed.org where you can research to see if you have any unclaimed property. It may take a little work since each state is different and you will need to search each state that is applicable to you individually. While it may take a little time it can be well worth it.
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