Millions of dollars that should have been in Americans’ pockets every year end up being held hostage by the government until the rightful owners are found.
It is called “unclaimed property” and can cost anywhere from a few to thousands of dollars.
What is the unclaimed property?
According to the U.S. government, money owed by a business, government agency, or any other source is considered unclaimed.
Ex-employers can also be held responsible.
Did you ever work for a job for just a few days and suddenly quit? Then, how did you get your paycheck? If you answered “yes,” the government may hold on to your salary.
The government does not consider unclaimed property if no wages are paid.
You could be in line for money if you have been a member of a failing financial institution or paid too much on a utility bill.
You may find it in stocks, old bank accounts, trust funds, and uncashed cashier’s checks.
How to find out if you have unclaimed money California
California requires that the state contact you to inform you about any missing money. However, sometimes these efforts fail.
“Contact is lost often when the owner forgets that the account exists, moves, or does not leave a forwarding address.” According to the California State Controller’s Office, sometimes the owner passes away with no heirs.
If the state fails, you must determine if you still have a property that can be claimed.
Californians can search the Controller’s Office website for unclaimed property. You will also find detailed instructions on how to file a claim and what you need to prove your identity.
What if you have lived and worked in other states? You can search for most other states through MissingMoney.com. The federal government has approved the website.
You must file a claim if you discover that you have unclaimed property.
Provides a detailed breakdown of all types of unclaimed property and how to locate them.
Most commonly, newly-claimed funds are issued as checks. It’s usually free to file a claim. However, methods of verifying your identity may vary from one state to the next.