Unclaimed Property That’s Rightfully Yours

November 21st, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

In accordance with the intention of the Million Dollar Experiment, I’m on the lookout for simple ways to put more money into your pocket. Here’s one that my wife recently discovered. It hasn’t generated any money for us, but it has put some extra money into the pockets of friends and relatives. The limitation is that this applies to U.S. readers only (nothing I can do about that unfortunately).

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPU) is a nonprofit organization that makes it easy to search for unclaimed property. This includes wages, refunds on insurance premiums, inheritances, and lots of other property that couldn’t find its way into the hands of its rightful recipient. The State of California alones reports that it’s holding $2.9 billion of unclaimed property. Wow…

My wife searched through the California database for various people we know in that state and found hundreds of dollars worth of unclaimed funds for several people. Those people were certainly happy to be told about it. Commonly what happened was that someone moved before receiving a check in the mail, and the check was lost and never reissued, so the money was just sitting around for years, waiting to be claimed. For example, you might be mailed a refund check for your renter’s insurance policy that still had some time left on it, and if you don’t give your insurance company your new address (or leave a forwarding address), the money may never find you.

It will only take you a few minutes to see if you have any unclaimed property listed. Just follow the NAUPA link above, click “Find Property” at the top of the sidebar, and select your state. Then scroll down to find the web link for your state’s treasurer, click on it, and navigate your state’s site to find its unclaimed property search function. Every state’s site is different. If your last name is uncommon in the USA (like mine is), it’s easy to find information on relatives too.

It won’t cost you a dime to take a peek. Given the number of people reading this site, it’s guaranteed that some of you are going to financially benefit from this. And if you happen to be one of those people, be sure to include it in your Million Dollar Experiment results. I’d also love to hear about it if you find anything significant. It would be pretty amazing if one of you had a million-dollar inheritance coming to you and you didn’t even know about it.

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