How to check if your state owes you hundreds of dollars in 2 minutes

Did you know that your state may be holding property of yours — money, an uncashed check, jewelry or safe-deposit box items — that you need to claim? This happened to me: I stumbled upon a link on my state government’s website to check for unclaimed property. It was free to do so. I found my state was holding several dollars worth of items I could claim.

The total value of the unclaimed property is quite high. New York is holding on to $16.5 billion in lost or forgotten property, while California’s holdings are valued at approximately $10.2 billion. Florida returned claimed property worth $328 million last year. In 2019, the average claim paid was $1,780 according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

It takes less than two minutes to verify if your state has something of yours and only a few seconds longer to claim the item if it does. We’ll explain how. For more money matters, learn about stimulus check “plus-up” payments, the expanded child tax credit for up to $3,600 per kid, and what we know about a fourth stimulus check and the next stimulus bills.

 What unclaimed property might your state be holding?

States could be holding a range of your items you can claim, including: a forgotten checking or savings bank account, a dividend, stocks, bonds, a credit balance, a refund or cash settlement, a utility deposit, an uncashed cashier’s check, a money order, insurance benefits, wages or the contents of an abandoned safe deposit box (including jewelry or coins).

Why would a state have your money or property?

A business or government office is usually required by state law to attempt to contact the rightful owner of money or property it’s holding. When they’re unable to locate the rightful owner after a period of time, they’re required to send the unclaimed item to a state-run unclaimed property office. Some states may say the property has been “escheated,” meaning the item has been transferred to the state. The state office will hold these items until their owner claims them.

In most US states, finding out if you have any unclaimed property is free and easy. Claiming is also free but can be a bit more work, depending on which documents you need to collect and then send to the state to prove you’re the rightful owner…Read more>>


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