This is going to sound scammy*, I know, but millions of people are missing out on billions of dollars they’ve forgotten about over the years. $58 Billion to be exact (as of Jan, 2013).
And today I’m happy to report that number just dropped by $355.38! Woohoo! That’s my wife’s check above she just claimed from the great state of Maryland this weekend :) How they knew her last name was BudgetsAreSexy is beyond me…
You may recall from last year that my wife is an accidental hoarder of money. She forgets cash in birthday cards, jacket pockets, graduations cards from 11 years ago (true story), and apparently also PAYCHECKS WORTH HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS she never cashed! WTF?
That check up top was long earned and forgotten over a decade ago from temp work she picked up after graduating college. I finally convinced her a year ago to do her own search for unclaimed money (and by “convince her” I mean I did it FOR her), and she finally got around to submitting the claim. If I didn’t know better, I’d think she’s allergic to money ;)
Still, this is solid proof that this stuff’s legit. And I’m willing to bet a good portion of you are probably owed money you’ve long lost too. If you can believe it, the average amount people find is $892! How insane/awesome is that?
If you’re wondering why or how, or even what unclaimed money’s about, read further…
What is Unclaimed Money?
According to Unclaimed.org (run by The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators):
Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
Here are some other interesting facts:
- Every U.S. state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands – and Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada have unclaimed property programs that actively and continuously find owners of lost and forgotten assets (Yeah Canada!).
- Claims can be made into perpetuity in most cases – even by heirs.
- Unclaimed property laws have been around since at the 1930s, but have become much broader and more enforced in the last 25 years.
- Unclaimed property is one of the original consumer protection programs.
Even celebrities are owed money! As of 2013 Lindsay Lohan is owed $1,560, Cindy Crawford $101,900, Justin Timberlake is out $3,579, and even our own president Barack Obama is owed money – to the tune of $700. How busy can they be to ignore such fortunes? ;)
How to Claim Your Abandoned Property
If you finally believe me that this is real, and you’re now excited to go see just how much YOU’RE owed too (fyi I’m not getting paid a penny to pimp out these sites – I’m trying to get you the pennies!), here are the steps to get going.
- Go to MissingMoney.com and type in your name/state.
- See if anything shows up (more than likely there will be like 200 of you out there, so try to narrow the search by using middle initial and city/state to speed it up. If you’ve lived in over 20 places in your life like I have, it may take you longer ;) But hey, it’s “free” money!)
- If you find something that could be yours, and you answer “yes” to all those questions it pops out, it’ll then direct you over to the place to file your missing money report (not to be confused with missing persons report). More than likely this will be your own state’s site it’s set up for this. In Virginia where we now live it’s vamoneysearch.org.
If that’s too overwhelming, you can also just go to Unclaimed.org and click on the pretty map to go directly to your state’s site ;) But I recommend starting at MissingMoney.com in case you have cash waiting for you in states you’ve long forgotten about.
After you search for yourself, hook up your loved ones too!
You can do a search for your significant others like I did (and hope to get some booty in return! Both financially and physically – ow ow!), then also hook up your brothers and your sisters and your mommas and your poppas (to make up for all the dumb stuff you’ve ever put them through), as well as your bffs (next round of beer’s on them!), any companies you own or are a part of (*ahem* raise time), and then even for money long lost – and owed – to your deceased loved ones.
It literally takes a handful of seconds to get started, and there’s no excuse for not giving it a shot. Unless you’ve already done it this week ;) And in which case, tell us how much you found!!
So you ready to go searching??? Hit up MissingMoney.com right now before you click on the next shiny item you see online and grab your money! Even if you have to break it into two steps (searching, then filling stuff out – the annoying part). It’ll be the easiest money you’ve ever made.
And in the future, NEVER LOSE YOUR MONEY TO BEGIN WITH! ;)
PS: I’ll be joining y’all too this fine Monday morning… I always do a search every year for the wife and I even if I never find anything juicy for myself (she’s luckier than I!), and after a quick search while writing up this post, I believe I just may have found my 1st winner winner chicken dinner! Woohoo! I’ll be reporting the findings if it pans out… It could have me confused with J. Money the rapper though, which I am quite obviously not ;)
PPS: Speaking of J. Money the rapper (who now goes as “J. Futuristic” – what??), I got three emails from someone thinking I was him just last week. And then yesterday TWO phone calls to my Google Voice number! Which one of y’all are pranking me?? ;) I debated sharing one of the rap songs this kid wrote out and sent over to me – presumably so I’d help make him rich and famous in the rap world – but I’d have to edit out every other 3rd word and it literally looked like garble afterwards – sorry. Maybe I’ll get a Will Smith type singer next time who “don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records” as Eminem so eloquently put it years ago. Followed by, “Well, I do; so f*ck him and f*ck you too!”
Ahhh, thug life…
*While the sites mentioned here are indeed reputable, DO be aware that there are tons of scammers out there too. While it’s not illegal to charge money for researching and digging up this info on your behalf (as some companies do), just make sure you’ve done your own research before handing over money. As you can see, you can do it all by yourself FOR FREE. As my wife just did!
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