Each year thousands of dollars are turned over to states for safekeeping because the owners of the property or funds cannot be located. Unclaimed property can include savings accounts, checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, insurance claim payments, safe deposit box contents and the like.

The national database www.missingmoney.com was created in 1999 and contains unclaimed property records to assist the participating states’ outreach efforts in locating the owners of the lost cash and property that they are holding. All but 11 of the 50 states are currently participating. Non-participating states generally also have their own individual searchable databases which may be found by a general search on ‘unclaimed property’ and the state name or by going to www.unclaimed.org, which has links to all of the state databases.

Searches are free of charge, as is filing a claim should you find evidence of missing funds. If your name appears in a search, the web site generally directs the searcher to the individual state’s unclaimed property database for more information and a claim form. Filing a claim involves filling in some paperwork with personal information and attaching copies of documents, generally your driver’s license and social security card. Once you file a claim, you should receive your property within a few weeks.