Your Guide to a Free Unclaimed Money Search
Did you know that you could find unclaimed money for free in your name? In fact, there are several unclaimed money searches that can help you locate money in your name. Most states have websites that allow you to perform an unclaimed money search, but there are other websites where you can find money in your name as well.
These searched are legitimate and it’s free to search and claim it. I once found $300 from a job I worked when I was 17 years old and I recently got a relative a check for a cool $1,200. I’ve also uncovered smaller amounts- $30 here…$13 there…plus a class action suit that may replace my dishwasher and blender! Sweet!
The key is knowing where to look for this unclaimed money.
1) Division of Unclaimed Property
Every state has a treasurer that handles unclaimed property. It can be in the form of cash, securities or insurance money. To see if you have money in your name, simply find your state’s treasury department. In Google, enter your state name plus “unclaimed property.” (If you live in Kentucky, enter in “Kentucky unclaimed funds.”) There should be a place to search your name on that site. For the best results, search for money in all the states you’ve lived in and use all of your names (like maiden versus married.) I also check for relatives from time to time.
2) County Treasurer
This is mainly for overpayment of property taxes. (There might be other refunds, but this is the one I have been successful with. I recently found an overpayment of $28 for my home.) Even if you haven’t appealed taxes, you could be eligible for a refund. Simply search for your property and see if there are associated overpayments. If there aren’t, think about appealing your property tax assessment or making sure you have all the exemptions available to you if they are offered in your county. If you are successful, you could get a refund. I’ve heard of people getting thousands back from this process!
3) Product Recalls
You can get automatic updates from Recalls.gov or set up selective updates from a Google alerts filter to monitor the interwebs for product recalls. This will usually require you to keep receipts around, however. Since I don’t do this, I pretty much monitor food recalls for places like Costco. They keep all your purchases on file since you have a membership card. A few weeks ago, I moseyed into Costco with no product or receipt and got out with $13 in cash for a couple of recalled items. Not bad!
4) Class Action Suits
Like product recalls, this requires some diligence. You have to be vigilant in terms of internet monitoring to pick out items that you have purchased or services you’ve used. Again, Google alerts can be helpful here as well. You can also check sites that do some of the searching for you like www.classactionrebates.com or www.topclassactions.com. The payouts can be tiny, however, as in a few dollars per person. (There are exceptions. I had a relative get some stock shares and a free insurance policy, valued at over $10,000!) So be mindful of the time it takes to find this money.
5) Employer Withholding Allowances
This is technically money that belongs to you, but you are giving it away to Uncle Sam. That’s why you get that big fat income tax check every year. You are letting the government use your money, interest-free, while life still happens to you. You are still under obligation to pay your bills, shell out money for your expenses, etc. while the government holds on to this money. This is money that could be either paying down your debt or growing in a brokerage account. Change this by adjusting your withholding allowances to get a smaller amount taken out per paycheck for taxes. Check out this website for more guidance on how to adjust your withholding allowances. Ask your employer how to make this change. Usually, it can be done online.
6) Unclaimed Money from the Irs (Irs.gov)
The amount of people getting physical income tax refund checks is diminishing greatly, but the IRS has issues with undelivered mail nonetheless. Check: www.irs.gov refunds to see if you might have a refund in your name.
Like the IRS, the Department of Treasury reports that thousands of payments and bonds are returned as undeliverable. Go to TreasuryHunt.gov to see if your name is on the list.
Find More Money Now!
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