It’s August and for many of us, that means it’s hot! We hope you are able to keep cool but in any event, we have some hot news that could make you rich — or at least turn up some extra cash. And who couldn’t use that?
Unclaimed Money has been in the news lately and for good reason. We’re devoting this issue of our newsletter to getting the facts out there and helping you find money you have coming to you. Discover more details in our August Free Money Highlights. To pique your curiosity, consider these facts:
- Florida paid out a record-setting amount of over $210 million in unclaimed money just in fiscal year 2012. States are aggressively seeking to return property to the rightful owners.
- Searches for unclaimed property are free; and
- It’s a total myth that only rich people have unclaimed money – in fact just the opposite is true since the rest of us don’t have lawyers and tax pros tracking our money all the time. So what’s stopping you?
Discover your program today!
If you haven’t conducted a thorough search for property which is rightfully yours, what is stopping you? Maybe it’s one of the common myths out there that make you think it won’t be worth the effort. Here are three of the biggest myths we’ve found along with the facts:
- I’ll have to be able to find old account numbers and provide my social security number. False! In order to start your search you just provide your name and address (or old address). You can even search under names of your relatives to help them out and see if there is some money in your name or theirs. We give valuable tips about a good strategy to use when searching by name on our Find Unclaimed Money page.
- Why bother? There probably isn’t any unclaimed property out there for me. False! The government estimates that about one in ten of us has money out there waiting to be found. If you’ve ever rented a home or had a bank account or put down a deposit on your utilities you could easily find some funds in your name. Check out Free Unclaimed Money for all the possible sources of your yet-to-be-found cash!
- Unclaimed Money is hard to find and probably expensive. False! States and the feds really want to return money to its owners and they have done a very good job making it as easy as possible to conduct a search. And these searches are free! Do not deal with “finders” who want an up-front fee or a cut of your found money. We make it easy for you to get started and to avoid scams in our article Find Unclaimed Money.
Some bigger awards: In December 2011 Missouri paid out the largest unclaimed money award on record: $6.1 milliion! Her ancestors had purchased the stock of a little-known company, and the stock had been lost as it passed from generation to generation. So even if you’ve never owned a stock in your life you could be the heir to some shares that have appreciated over many years.
While most of the $32 billion in unclaimed property waiting to be discovered is at the state level, don’t give up if you haven’t found any there. We’ve learned that some states allow local governments to hold onto such property rather than turning it over to the state. So you should be sure to do an internet search using the term “unclaimed property” and then the name of your city, town or village and see what comes up. As an example, the city of Pasadena has over a quarter of a million dollars in unclaimed property it is ready to return to its owner(s).
The government is making it easier and easier to claim the property that you find (keep in mind that when we say “property” we mean cash or stock – the government typically uses the term “unclaimed property”. For instance, if you follow the Treasury Department’s “treasury hunt” and find some savings bonds associated with your social security number, a member of their staff will call you on the phone to help you fill out the necessary paperwork. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
So what are you waiting for? Make the most of the second half of summer and check out our guide to unclaimed money. If it’s still just all too much for you and you are in more critical need of assistance, please check out our article about getting help fast.