Unclaimed Property: How to Find out if the Government Owes You Money

August 20, 2019   Nick Harlan

  • Property, Markets & Trade
  • Blog

Have you ever wondered what happens to assets such as bank accounts or safety deposit boxes that are abandoned or left dormant? Or perhaps there was a paycheck that was meant to be delivered to you but never arrived? There are many cases where cash or property that is rightfully entitled to a particular individual goes missing, but there are state laws in place that designate state governments to safeguard those assets and actively find the true owner to the items in question.

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), state governments throughout the United States successfully returned $3.3 billion in unclaimed property to citizens across the country in 2015. However, they also received an astounding $7.8 billion during the same period. This trend repeats itself year after year, and now the outstanding total of all unclaimed property is sitting over $60 billion dollars. If that money were to be distributed to every legal adult in the United States, that would equate to roughly $286 per person.

Every state has an official website that citizens can use to see what property might be owed to them and it is very easy to complete a search. In addition, there are many different ways that your state government might acquire unclaimed property that belongs to you, so it is worth taking a look for any state that you have lived in.

For more information about unclaimed property and ways to reclaim your assets, you can visit the NAUPA website: https://www.unclaimed.org/default.asp.