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How do you find lost money?

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Quick Answer

Find lost money by searching individual state unclaimed property databases or a multistate database at MissingMoney.com, reports the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The federal government does not have a centralized lost money database, so locate unclaimed money that the federal government is holding through individual agency databases, advises USA.gov.

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Full Answer

By law, businesses and financial institutions holding money that is unclaimed for a year or more must turn it over to state unclaimed property offices, explains the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. State unclaimed property offices hold lost money from sources such as bank accounts, stocks, insurance payments, utility deposits and trust distributions indefinitely until owners claim it. To search most state unclaimed property databases simultaneously, enter your first name, last name and state of residence into the MissingMoney.com search engine, and click on Go. To locate individual state unclaimed property databases, use the interactive map at Unclaimed.org.

A number of federal agencies hold unclaimed money, points out USA.gov. For instance, contact the Internal Revenue Service to locate lost tax refunds. Search the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation database for deposits from failed banks and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division database for unclaimed back wages. The Treasury Hunt search engine allows savings bond owners to search for lost bonds that no longer accrue interest, adds the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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