What Actually is Unclaimed Money

Life is busy. It should come as no surprise that you can overlook different parts of your life, such as properties like money, and assets. If certain properties don’t experience any activity for a specific period of time, they are turned over to the state. After this, they are considered unclaimed property. Luckily, Americans have the right to reclaim what was originally theirs!

Understanding Unclaimed Property

When people think of properties, they usually think of real estate. However, that’s not always the case. When referring to unclaimed properties, there is a variety of different types. Before we dive into some different forms of unclaimed properties, you want to make sure you understand the basics. As we said earlier, unclaimed properties are considered unclaimed once they experience a certain period of no activity and are turned over to the state. This period of inactivity is known as the dormancy period. You may be thinking, “if it’s my property, then why is it going to the state?” Well, according to the law, this unclaimed property must be turned over to the state! However, you still have a chance to claim it.

Types of Unclaimed Property

There is more than one type of unclaimed property. The different types of unclaimed properties are intangible and tangible. Some different forms of unclaimed property that you can come across include:

  • Annuities
  • Deposit certificates
  • Safety deposit boxes contents
  • Certain overpayments
  • Insurance payments
  • Insurance refunds
  • Specific royalty payments
  • Stocks
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Trust distributions
  • Uncashed payroll checks or dividends
  • Money orders that have yet to be redeemed (in certain states)
  • Utility deposits

Where Do You Get Unclaimed Property?

Now that you understand the basics of what unclaimed property is, it’s time to learn how to see if you are due any. Luckily, every state will have its own database that people can use. Each state is different so their site tool will be different, too. Regardless, you can expect to fill out basic information like a part of your name. The more details you provide, the more specific the search will be! To find the right search engine for your state, you can check out the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) website. They have a map that helps people find their state’s (or province’s) official government unclaimed property program.

Think about all the different types of unclaimed money that we touched on earlier. Not every type of unclaimed money is from the same source. People looking for unclaimed properties can also check out some different websites. The following sources have other websites for people to use when looking for unclaimed properties:

  • Former Employment
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Financial Sources
  • Foreign Sources

Former Employment

Oftentimes people may be owed money from previous employers. If you think you have wages that haven’t been paid to you, you should check out this website. This website is available thanks to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Besides this website, you can also check out a website that’s available thanks to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). They can assist people looking to reclaim pensions specifically.


There are plenty of different insurances out there that can result in money that needs to be claimed. Two specific insurance types are:

  • The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Life Insurance
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Insurance

Since these two types of insurance are a part of the federal government, they have their own databases that people can benefit from. The VA has its own database and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has its own database. Both of these databases are specifically for helping people get unclaimed properties!


When it comes to handling taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is where you go to manage this process. It is no different for people trying to claim funds they are due from a tax refund. Luckily, the IRS has a website that can help.

Financial Sources

It should come as no surprise that a common source of unclaimed properties revolves around financial sources. These sources include:

  • SEC Claims Funds
  • Savings Bonds
  • Bank Failures
  • Credit Union Failures

In cases where an individual or company owes an investor money, there is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website that people can check out. This website can help people see what they may be due. When it comes to savings bonds, people can look to see if any certain bonds are available to be claimed. They can do this by checking out the TreasuryHunt.gov website.

For financial institution failures with banks or credit unions, there are different websites to check out. When it comes to bank failures specifically, people can see what funds they may be due with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). On the other hand, for credit union failures, individuals can check out what they may be due with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Foreign Sources

Some people have traveled more than others. There are times when an individual may find that they have unclaimed funds from sources that are international (like a foreign government). Those that have foreign claims can handle the process through the United States Department of Treasury website.


There are unclaimed properties all across the country that are waiting for their rightful owners to reclaim them. There are a variety of different types of unclaimed properties. Specifically, one common form is unclaimed money. Regardless of the type of unclaimed property that you may be due, you can search to see what’s out there using your state’s search engine tool. However, depending on the source of the unclaimed property, you may be able to use other websites for your search. For example, the following sources have other websites that you can check out:

  • Former Employment
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Financial Sources
  • Foreign Sources

Regardless, make sure you check because you may be in for a pleasant surprise! You may have unclaimed properties that you need to claim and not even know it.

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