How to Uncover Unclaimed Money That May Belong to You

How to Uncover Unclaimed Money That May Belong to You

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How to Uncover Unclaimed Money That May Belong to You
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Right now, all across America, there are billions of dollars in unclaimed bank accounts just waiting for someone to step up and claim the money. Not only in unclaimed bank accounts, but there are also billions of dollars worth of unclaimed amounts from other sources, including past tax refunds, pension plans, life insurance policies, credit card rewards, forgotten investment accounts, unpaid inheritances, and more.   

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about unclaimed money in America, including how to find out if you have any unclaimed money that’s owed to you, where to look for unclaimed money, and, most importantly, how to claim any money that’s rightfully yours. Remember, if you don’t claim your money, then it will eventually go back into the federal coffers, so time is of the essence. 

What Is An Unclaimed Balance?

An unclaimed balance refers to a sum of money that’s owed to an individual but for one reason or another was never picked up or cashed out. The most common source of unclaimed money comes from unclaimed bank accounts. These are bank accounts that have gone dormant, inactive, or otherwise have been forgotten about. 

However, although bank accounts make up the majority of unclaimed money in America, unclaimed balances don’t just come from bank accounts, you might also have uncashed cheques, money orders, security deposits, or safety deposit boxes.The good news is that it might not be too late.ou still may be able to retrieve your money. 

What Happens To Unclaimed Bank Accounts?

Federal law mandates that any money in unclaimed bank accounts must be returned to the state after 18 months, so it’s important that you look into retrieving your money as soon as possible; otherwise, it could end up in the pocket of Uncle Sam.  

Fortunately, even if more than 18 months have elapsed, you may still be able to recuperate your funds. Each state is required by law to hold on to unclaimed balances for a certain amount of time. The timeframe depends on the state, and each state has a different requirement, so make sure you look up your state’s requirements today. 

How Do I Find Unclaimed Bank Money?

There are a number of different ways that you can track down any money owed . Let’s go over how to find your lost money now and look at some of the other places where there might be a pile of cash with your name on it. 

Old Bank Accounts

So, as mentioned before, old bank accounts make up the bulk of unclaimed balances in America. These funds can come from insurance premium refunds, phone account deposits, utilities, dividends, escrow amounts, or wages that were paid out to you by a former employer. 

You can use the website to track down any unclaimed balances that you may be entitled to from old bank accounts. Also, if you had money in an old bank account between 1989 and 1993, then you might be able to claim that balance through the FDIC, so be sure to look into this. 

Life Insurance Policies

If you are listed on the life insurance policy of someone who has passed away, then you are entitled to receive any funds that were supposed to be paid out to you. In most cases, people know if they are eligible for a payout from life insurance, but not always.  

It’s possible that a distant relative had you covered under their insurance policy; this is often the case with godparents or the biological parents of adopted children. In any event, it’s worth checking into just to see if you are owed any money from an unpaid life insurance policy.  

To find out if there is unpaid life insurance money in your name, you can start your search at

Unpaid Inheritances

Even if you were not listed on their life insurance policy, it’s still possible that somebody who has passed away may have left you money, property, or another asset in their will. Unpaid inheritances are not uncommon, because in many cases, the person inheriting has no idea and may have never even met the person who left them something upon passing away; this is often the case with estranged families.  

To find out if you have an unclaimed inheritance, you can consult with the treasury department or the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.  

Credit Card Rewards 

If you have ever had a rewards credit card, then you may have unclaimed amounts from those rewards programs. In many cases, credit card rewards points carry a cash value, so it’s well worth looking into to see if you are sitting on a small fortune in credit card rewards.  

Even credit card rewards that aren’t monetary can still have value. Air miles, for example, can be used for travel anywhere in the world, and back in the 90s and early 2000s, most credit cards that issued air miles gave outmuch more than cards give out today. In most cases, credit card rewards points don’t  expire; even if the card has expired, you may still be able to claim your points.  

To find out if you have any unclaimed credit card rewards or points, be sure to contact all of the credit card companies you’ve ever had an account with to inquire about whether or not you can retrieve any unspent rewards balances. 

The State Department of Taxation

Similar to federal tax refunds, state tax refunds often don’t end up where they are supposed to. People move, addresses change, names get misspelled, things happen, and so for whatever reason, you may have missed a state tax refund. 

To find out if there is an old state tax refund with your name on it, check out the website To begin your search, you’ll enter your name and some other information, including past addresses; if any amount is uncovered, the steps for recuperating your money will be listed on the site. 

The Internal Revenue Service

Federal tax refunds account for the bulk of unclaimed money other than those funds which are sitting in unclaimed bank accounts. Much like with state tax refunds, federal tax refunds are often sent out to incorrect addresses, or don’t end up where they’re supposed to. Sometimes this is because of a postal error, or other times it could be that people lose their tax refund and never bother to contact the IRS to report the loss and have their money re-issued. 

If you suspect that you may be owed money from a federal tax return for a previous year, then contact the IRS to inquire about what steps you need to take in order to recover the money that’s rightfully yours. Bear in mind that you only have three years to claim unpaid federal tax refunds before the money goes back to the government for good. 

Also, remember that the IRS doesn’t penalize you for filing your taxes late as long as you have a refund owed  to you. So, if you didn’t file for the past few years and believe you may be entitled to a refund, then be sure to file your taxes as soon as possible so that you can collect your refund. 

Conclusion & Recommendation

There are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed accounts just waiting to be claimed. Whether from unclaimed bank accounts, life insurance policies, unpaid inheritances, state or federal tax refunds, or credit card rewards, these funds legally belong to you, and you can claim them now to receive what’s rightfully yours. 

In most cases, all you have to do is provide your name, verify your identity, and submit some paperwork, that’s pretty much it, and you can have the money in your bank account in as little as 12 weeks. However, time is of the essence because some of these funds have a time limit attached to them, and once the statute of limitations has been exceeded, then the money is  gone forever. 

So, visit the websites listed throughout this article, enter your name and information and look to see if any unclaimed accounts exist in your name. If they do, then make sure you claim them as soon as possible so that you can enjoy your long-lost, new-found money. Who knows? You might be a millionaire right now and not even know it. 


Money-Saving Resources

Saving Tips for American Seniors on a Fixed Budget
The $1,000-a-Month Retirement Savings Rule of Thumb
How the Fed’s Interest Rate Cuts Affect Your Savings and What You Should Do About It
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