Are you are among Americans or Canadians who own a share of the $41.7 billion in lost or forgotten money?
By David Lemoine, managing director, Finance and Revenue Solutions for Xerox.
What if I told you that the U.S. is holding $41.7 billion in lost or forgotten money just waiting to be claimed by residents?
MissingMoney.com is the only database endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). We work with nearly 40 states and provinces to help residents claim amounts ranging from $50 to six figures, at no cost to you.
We created 7 tips to help consumers reclaim money easily and safely.
1.) Only search for money using a State government website or NAUPA-endorsed website like Missingmoney.com: This way you know the source is secure and reliable.
2.) Search all states you’ve ever lived in: Unclaimed funds are returned to the state of residence by companies that have lost contact with you. MissingMoney.com participates with nearly 40 states and can access data from multiple states with one search request. Data is refreshed often and new, unclaimed properties are added weekly from all participating states and provinces.
3.) Conduct a search via your name, family member names and businesses: You may have funds coming to you from companies you’ve worked at, stock that you lost track of, bank accounts, utility companies you’ve used, family members who have left you an inheritance, trust funds, etc., so make sure to search all routes.
4.) When attempting to locate stock in a company that went under/was bought out/changed names, always search via your name: Always track down missing stocks by your own name—not the company name. No matter how many times a company changes names, if shares still have value and go unclaimed, the company is supposed to submit those to the states for safekeeping. The account should be in the name of the stockholder, not the company.
5.) Search all names you’ve ever used: Name changes due to marriage, divorce or other legal action can cause funds to go missing. Notify your bank, broker, credit card issuers, employer, 401K administrator, insurance contacts, mortgage lenders, doctors, attorney, accountant, investment accounts, and others of your name changes.
6.) Always avoid websites or agencies charging a finder’s fee: You do not have to pay to initiate a claim for your money, and anyone who says otherwise may be part of a scam.
7.) Don’t rely on the company or postal forwarding services to alert you of missing funds: Just because you’re not being alerted about your funds, does not mean they don’t exist. Postal forwarding services expire after about a year and can make it difficult to track down people. This is an action you have to pursue actively.
Searching is free, easy and fast, and these tips are a great way to potentially claim what’s yours.
April 16 is National Find Your Missing Money Day. Follow @ServicesAtXerox on Twitter for news, tips and facts about unclaimed property.
MissingMoney.com is a service that Xerox provides to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. It’s another way that we help make your world a little simpler.