Q:

How do you search for unclaimed money from the government?

A:

Quick Answer

Search for unclaimed money held by state unclaimed property offices using an interactive map on the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website or a search engine at MissingMoney.com. Other government agencies with searchable databases include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration and the IRS.

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Full Answer

Unclaimed money kept in state unclaimed property offices includes forgotten bank accounts, stocks, uncashed payroll checks, and unclaimed utility security deposits and insurance payments. According to state laws, financial institutions and other companies must turn over lost or forgotten funds after a specified number of years. Although the state offices attempt to locate the owners of the funds through searching public databases and posting notices, much of the money remains unclaimed. By selecting particular states on the NAUPA interactive map, searchers can access unclaimed property databases state by state. MissingMoney.com has compiled a searchable database that includes the unclaimed property databases of most states.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has a searchable database of unclaimed bank accounts from failed financial institutions. The National Credit Union Association keeps a list of unclaimed deposits from credit unions. The IRS has a toll-free phone line to assist taxpayers whose refund checks are lost. If taxpayers do not have to file a tax return because of insufficient income, they must file a return within three years to recover any lost taxes withheld from wages.

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