(NEW YORK) — Across the nation, more than $20 billion is waiting to be reclaimed by citizens who may not even know they may be owed cash from “unclaimed property,” which can include uncashed paychecks, refunds or deposits.
“It turns out so many people have unclaimed property. You may be in for a very pleasant surprise,” said Deb Goldberg, Massachusetts state treasurer and receiver general.
According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), one in seven Americans has unclaimed property. Even if you’ve checked in the past and didn’t find any unclaimed property, NAUPA suggests checking for annual updates — you might be surprised by what you’ll find.
Here’s how to check to see if you have unclaimed cash:
MissingMoney.com is endorsed by both the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and the National Association of State Treasurers. The website aims to “facilitate the return of unclaimed money to the rightful owner” using a multi-state database platform to search and claim forgotten funds.
Users can first go to Unclaimed.org or MissingMoney.com to check to see if they have unclaimed property. Then, if found, users are able to submit a free claim through the platform and, if accepted, connect to the state to securely transfer the funds to the owner.
“Since evidence required to complete a claim will vary by state, carefully read and follow the instructions. For other questions related to your claim, please directly contact the state where your claim was filed,” the website states.
Bureau of the Fiscal Service
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, users can go to a platform to find if unclaimed funds are being held by the federal government.
However, it’s important to note that each federal agency maintains its own records and there is no government-wide centralized database on unclaimed government assets, according to the department.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has also launched Treasury Hunt, a tool for users to search for “matured, uncashed savings bonds.” The bonds must be more than 30 years old and no longer earn interest.
If users are looking for more information on a federal tax refund, they can visit the IRS Refunds page.
Users need a Social Security or taxpayer ID number, filing status and the exact refund amount on the return in order to check on the status of the expected refund.
U.S. Department of Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing has set up the HUD Refunds program that allows users to check eligibility for a refund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or Federal Housing Association (FHA).
Workers Owed Wages
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has a program that conducts investigations that often recover back wages owed to employees. Here, users can search the Workers Owed Wages website to see if there is unpaid money in their name. If a user is due wages, they can file a claim through the platform to receive them.
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