“Geez, Rebecca...when did you decide to start spamming us?” Guyzzz, I promised I would never spam you. And this is still the case! But today I wanna talk about something that sounds kind of spammy, but it’s not. This is a genuine way to get some money quickly. The unfortunate truth is that isn’t NEW money you’ll get, but it’s OLD money you’ve lost and you just need to claim it. It’s called Unclaimed Property. Unclaimed property is money and other assets whose rightful owner cannot be located. Take this example. You moved into an apartment, and upon signing the lease you put down a security deposit. You lived there for a year, but then moved out of state. You completely forgot about this money, and never asked for it back. Your landlord wants to give you your security deposit back, but has no idea how to get in touch with you (or just didn’t try hard enough). By law, your landlord can’t just keep your unclaimed money -- she must turn it over to the State Treasurer after a specific period of time. This is just one example. Unclaimed property can include a wide array of things from uncashed payroll checks, court funds, dividends, estate proceeds and more. Late last year, I discovered a lovely $334 that was owed to me as an insurance claim payout when I searched for my name in the NY state unclaimed property database. And one of my besties just told me she found a whopping $6,000 (YES, four figures eeeek) in money that was owed to her from a university fellowship in the state of MA. And for the kick of it, I just searched for a few Yield & Spread students (who are friends too) and found some dollars waiting for them…. SO, how do you find your money? The guidelines to claiming your money and the databases used to track it vary state to state, but overall it’s a very simple process. Head to unclaimed.org, and scroll down to the map and click on your state (see below)
Each state will have its own unique landing page and database search. Once you’re on your state’s homepage, there will likely be a search function or another link that says something like “Search by Name” or “Unclaimed Property Search”. You’ll then be asked to search by name and potentially by city/zip. The search engines are generally pretty poorly designed. So if you have a common last name, expect to get a slew of unclaimed property results that you’ll have to sift through. If you do see something that you think belongs to you, you’ll have the option to click on it and read any descriptions about the property that might give you a better idea if it’s yours. If you do go ahead and claim the property, you will likely be asked for your social security number and/or any other relevant information. Once you’ve made your claim, it may take a couple of months to get your check in the mail.
Lastly, don’t forget! If you’ve lived in a few different areas, make sure to check multiple states for your unclaimed property.
So there you have it! I can’t promise you’ll all find something. Only 1 in 10 people have something to be claimed. If you do find something, bathe in the delights of your long lost find! And if you don’t, just pat yourself on the back for being a well-organized person who never loses any money and has their act together!
If you find something, be sure to shoot me an email and let me know. It would be fun to see how many people discover lost treasure.
Boost your Wallet. Wellbeing. World.
Disclaimer: The information contained in the Yield & Spread website, course materials and all other related content is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice, and may not be suitable for every individual. Yield & Spread is not a registered investment, legal or tax advisor or a broker/dealer.