You may have money waiting to be claimed in just a few clicks (seriously)

computer dollars money clicks internet

Did you know the government may be holding some money or personal items in your name, just waiting for you to claim it?

Wait whaaat??

I know. I actually only recently heard about it myself (thank you friend who I will not name because he prizes his anonymity).

So I checked and found out there was $50 in my name!


Obviously I had to tell everyone about this potential magical pot of gold because, well, that’s what I’m here for. Just call me the Unclaimed Property Leprechaun. Actually never mind, don’t do that.

So what is it and how did the government get it?

Unclaimed property comes in many forms. Think about bank accounts or student credit union accounts that you had years ago, or maybe trust funds opened in your name, or stocks or bonds purchased for you as a gift.

Other types are safe deposit box contents, tax refunds, uncashed cashier’s checks and money orders, matured or terminated insurance policies, or property from a deceased relative that you are entitled to inherit.

Check out some awesome unclaimed property from California:

bag of unclaimed diamonds

Oh yes, I definitely recognize those diamonds. Lemme just fill out this claim form here…

unclaimed antique liquor


unclaimed hollywood memorabilia

That’s definitely a very young John Travolta, and of course, James Dean.

unclaimed gold bars

“That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!”

See more here.

Unclaimed property laws and procedures are different for each state, but generally banks or companies that have any of your property must attempt to contact you about it, and if they can’t reach you after a few years, they must send it to the government for safekeeping. Then the government will try to contact you. But if you’re like me, you’ve moved on average once every year (I don’t know what’s wrong with me), so nobody ever has your current address and you don’t find out about these things.

Interesting. Now how do I get my money/stuff?

You can search for any unclaimed property for free on the internet, and in many cases you can submit a claim electronically. Start here. Be sure to check each state where you have lived, worked, received mail, or conducted any transactions. Beware of scams – make sure you are searching official government databases or contacting government officials.

And please do comment and let me know if you find anything. Maybe I’ll feature it in a follow up post!

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