Q:

How do you find missing money for free?

A:

Quick Answer

Find missing money for free by searching state unclaimed property databases simultaneously at MissingMoney.com. Alternatively, locate state unclaimed property databases using the interactive map at the Unclaimed.org website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, and search the databases individually.

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Full Answer

Every state has laws that require companies and financial institutes to turn over funds that have remained dormant for one or more years to state unclaimed property offices. These funds include stocks, insurance payments, trust distributions, bank accounts and utility deposits. They may also include traveler's checks, unredeemed gift certificates and life insurance policies. After attempting to locate the owners by Web searches and awareness events, the states hold the money indefinitely until the owners identify themselves. Searching state unclaimed property databases and filing claims is free, and most states return the funds for free or for a small handling fee.

Although some businesses specialize in finding missing money for a fee, they use the same databases you can easily search for free. If a company contacts you requesting payment to give you information about missing money they have found for you, contact the state unclaimed property office for further information before signing a contract or paying the company. Some businesses that locate missing money are legitimate, but there are numerous scams involving unclaimed property.

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