Recover Lost Money

Frugal For Life points us to four sites that can help provide a lucrative reunion with long-lost cash with only a few minutes of work. We once found our parents several thousand dollars using New York’s unclaimed funds page. Hit the jump for other sources of surprise cash.

  • MissingMoney.com: Search for lost money, jewelry, and property held by 40 states.
  • Tax Refunds: That tax refund you expected but never received? The government still has it locked in a box sealed with a pretty bow. Call and (800) 829-4477 and claim it as your own.
  • Treasury Hunt: $14 million worth of matured savings bonds gifted by grandparents lie waiting to be collected.
  • Pensions: Did you slave for years in a factory and forget to collect your pension? Probably not, but if you did and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation hasn’t already knocked at your door, search through their database to see if you can finally retire.

4 Keys to Accessing Lost Money [Frugal For Life]
(Photo: The Consumerist)

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  1. silencedotcom says:

    Well what do you know, I have an old unclaimed paycheck. Time for me to get my monies. Thanks, Consumerist!

  2. SkyeBlue says:

    A few years back I found close to $2500.00 in unclaimed savings and stock accounts that belonged to my mother on the State of California (www.sco.ca.gov) unclaimed money site. If you are going to search on unclaimed money sites just do it on that States’ official website, never go onto the ones that try and charge you to “search”. You can do it yourself easily for free. Also, if you have deceased relatives, you can also search under their names and if you can prove you are related to them you may be able to claim the money. I know for sure you can for parents and grandparents.

  3. Okaasan says:

    Hey, I found some money for my brother and money for my grandmother’s estate. Cool!

  4. spinachdip says:

    I just remembered I have like $250 of overpaid taxes sitting in Albany. Thanks for the reminder, Consumerist!

  5. VaMPKiSS1 says:

    No unclaimed funds for me, but I checked other names and it turns out my uncle has three! I can’t wait to tell him the news, he could use a windfall right now. Yay!

  6. plustax says:

    Hey, I know this topic very well. I apologize if I ramble. :)

    In a prior existence at another company I had to deal with all of the unclaimed property of former employees uncashed payroll checks and vendors who neglected to cash checks written to them. It’s a great concept in that it prevents companies from unduly profiting from money they have already remitted to its original owners. Believe it or not a lot of companies fail to take the necessary steps to either reunite the owners with their money directly or through the state.

    Of course the other side of that coin is how the state handles those unclaimed funds. It has become the latest cash cow to bridge the gap between budgeted expenditures and actual tax revenue collected. Money that is collected by the state on behalf of the owners of unclaimed property is spent almost immediately by the state through the general fund. There is an attitude in most revenue departments that very few people will eventually claim their funds thus making people’s hard earned money that happened to be misplaces for some administrative reason an additional tax.

    Even when you do claim this money it takes forever for it to show up if it ever does show up. Most states will make you jump through hoops to get your cash. There’s got to be a better way to reunite people with their money without the cash being sent into the states. Taxes are high enough as it is do we really want to pay more because a corporation can’t perform a higher level of due diligence to pay you what you are due.

  7. vanwirtp says:

    I just logged into treasuryhunt.com and put in my SSN. It says it may have some matches, so please enter my name address, etc. Are they kidding? How insecure is that? Are you guys sure they are on the up and up?

  8. lonewolf333 says:

    @vanwirtp: Why did you give them your SSN in the first place. No waay I’m going to give up that info to a site called treasuryhunt.com.

  9. meneye says:

    this whole thing is fishy

  10. SOhp101 says:

    @vanwirtp: It’s treasurydirect.gov not .com

  11. huadpe says:

    @vanwirtp: For the NY Site I had to put in name and town, and I found a few things owed to me. This is one of those simple but eminently useful consumerist articles.

  12. forgottenpassword says:

    I suggest that you search your own state’s website for lost property as missingmoney.com didnt have anything on my unclaimed property that MY state has. Granted… its only 46 cents, but its still money. I dont plan on claiming it as the hoops one often has to jump thru to claim your property is often a serious pain in the ass (In my case …. they want me to send them a piece of mail with an old address from over 15 years ago …. who the fuck keeps mail that long?).

  13. spinachdip says:

    @meneye: Care to expound?

  14. ElizabethD says:

    Hmmm, nothing for me or hubby, but I found unclaimed money in three states for my brother, an uncle, a cousin, and my stepdaughter. Thanks!

  15. OsiUmenyiora says:

    This is for real. Just last month I got 128 bucks back from the New York State Comptroller’s Office for some refund that GEICO owed me from five years ago. I had no idea and just checked the site on a whim, and there I was.

  16. friendlynerd says:

    Folks. Gift is not a verb.

  17. Nytmare says:

    But present is!

  18. BugMeNot2 says:

    According to my dictionary, gift has a secondary definition as a verb with usage dating back to the 16th century.

  19. That-Dude says:

    @friendlynerd: hmmm . . .

    gift – tr.v., gift·ed, gift·ing, gifts.

    1. To present something as a gift to.
    2. To endow with.

    /not so friendly nerd