If you’ve ever failed to collect money that was owed to you, then you may be entitled to what’s called unclaimed money or unclaimed property.
The state where you live, or used to live, may have possession of it. All you have to do is conduct a free unclaimed money search, fill out the proper claim forms and then get your cash.
The whole process only take a few minutes, but you can earn some extra cash that’ll help you pay your bills.
What Is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property is any asset or account held by a financial institution, utility provider or other service-based company — in which there has been no contact with the owner, for a year or longer, about said property.
The term “unclaimed” means the owner cannot be located or identified. By federal law, companies must turn over unclaimed property of any kind to either the state or relevant government agency.
The unclaimed money that’s owed to you may be from an unknown insurance payout, closed bank accounts, overpayments, utility company refund, uncashed payroll checks, of even funds left in a family member’s safety deposit box.
For instance, let’s say you went to the hospital and accidentally paid $250 instead of $150 for your visit. If you don’t claim that money after a certain period of time – typically, one year – then you can search for it through the unclaimed money system.
Types of unclaimed property
- Uncashed payroll checks
- Tax returns
- Checking or savings accounts
- Certificates of deposits (CDs)
- Traveler’s checks
- Trust distributions
- Unredeemed money orders and gift certificates
- Customer overpayments
- Security deposits
- Safe deposit boxes
- Insurance payments
How to Find Unclaimed Money
While there is no single, centralized database that allows you to discover missing money that is owed to you, each federal agency and local state government does maintain their own records and publishes them online.
The good news is that these websites are generally free to use.
Additionally, some financial institutions, including Credit Karma, have attempted to tame the process of looking for unclaimed money and assets with free searches that source data from many of the popular unclaimed money websites.
You’ll find a full list of state databases further down in this article.
List of websites that find unclaimed money
- Credit Karma: Nationwide missing money and asset search
- Unclaimed.org: Unclaimed property search provided by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
- TreasuryDirect.gov: Search for missing treasury securities
- PGBC.gov: Nationwide search for missing pension benefits
- ACLI.com: Nationwide search for missing life insurance policy benefits
- UnclaimedRetirementBenefits.com: Nationwide search for 401K plans and other retirement plans
- NCUA.gov and FDIC.gov: Search for leftover funds held in deposit accounts from failed or merged banks
- MissingMoney.com: General unclaimed property search
How to Search for Unclaimed Money
Searching for unclaimed money is as easy as visiting one of the free sites listed in this article and filling out a form.
In some instances, you may need to register with the site before initiating a search.
Typically, these free sites will want to know:
If you do find missing money, and you are eligible to claim it, then each federal agency and state government has their own process to file a claim. Regardless, be prepared to provide the following information.
- Date of birth
- Social Security number (or EIN if you’re searching for assets belonging to a business)
- Documents verifying your identity (state-issued driver’s license, Social Security card, W-2 forms, and so on)
Easiest Way to Look for Unclaimed Money: Credit Karma’s Free Search
Searching for unclaimed funds is simple thanks to Credit Karma. All you need do is log onto their website, sign up for free and then search.
Make sure you search for property under your maiden name, if you have one, and any other names you’ve gone by in the past. Also, you can search your family members’ names and the names of any deceased relatives who might have given you an inheritance.
Credit Karma’s database will show any unclaimed assets and then help you to file a claim with the relevant government agency to get that money sent to you ASAP.
Note that you will also need a copy of your driver’s license or other state-issued I.D., proof of your Social Security number — like your Social Security card or IRS Form W-2 — and proof of your current and previous addresses (like a paystub).
Some state government offices let you file a claim online, while others need you to mail in your claim. After that, you will get your claim money in the mail in a few weeks or months.
Who knows? You may have hundreds or even thousands of dollars in uncashed checks waiting for you.
Other ways to find unclaimed money
1. Look Into Nationwide Free Unclaimed Asset Search
Sites like MissingMoney.com search multiple states for unclaimed assets. Just be aware that it only services 39 states. If your states aren’t listed, then use Credit Karma or make inquiries directly with the individual state agency databases. We’ve included links in the table below.
You can also use the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website to find your state’s website for a free search, or Treasury Direct to find registered Treasury notes, savings bonds or registered Treasury bonds that matured and ceased earning interest.
2. Check the IRS for Unclaimed Tax Returns
If you think the IRS may owe you money because your refund went to an older address, you can file a claim directly with the government agency to determine if your refund check got lost in the mail.
Additionally, if an employer withholds funds from you, the IRS gives you up to three years to submit a claim to collect the money you are rightfully owed.
A third technique to discover whether or not the IRS owes you funds from any lost tax returns is the free Where’s My Refund? website. Just select the Check My Refund Status option, enter your information and the IRS will let you know.
3. Look for Unclaimed Retirement Funds
Once you’ve conducted a Credit Karma free search, looked into Treasury Direct and found out if the IRS is going to send you some refund money — the last step is to uncover unclaimed retirement funds.
The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits will help you find money being held from prior employers, while the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. can assist in your search for money tied into pension plans.
These funds will be very helpful, especially if you’re around retirement age.
4. Search Unclaimed Funds in Your State
To find unclaimed funds in your state for free, you can either use Credit Karma’s free search or go to your state’s online database.
Remember to input any other names you’ve used in the past in order to identify any uncashed checks or unclaimed dividends.
State-By-State Guide to Claiming Overpayments and Other Lost Assets
In Alabama, you can use the Office of State Treasurer Unclaimed Property Division. Simply hit “Get Started” to launch your free search.
The Alaska Department of Revenue Treasury Division can help you conduct your free search by clicking on Stake Your Claim and entering your information.
Use the Arizona Department of Revenue website. According to the site, the total value of unclaimed assets in Arizona due to owners is $1,534,930,705.
Go to the state’s Claim Your Property website, where you can file a claim for your funds or find out the status of your claim.
California’s State Controller’s Office has plenty of resources, including its unclaimed holdings search and a claim status page.
Colorado’s Official State Web Portal is part of the Great Colorado Payback Office, and you can search for both unclaimed reserves and unclaimed business assets.
Use the state’s official website to get started with your free search.
Delaware unclaimed money can be located through the state’s Office of Unclaimed Property. According to the site, more than $300 million has been returned to owners in the past three years.
By going to FLTreasureHunt.gov, you can find Florida unclaimed money through their Unclaimed Property Search. You can run a basic search or an advanced search if your name yields too many results because other people have the same name.
Go to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website to search for your Georgia unclaimed money or to see the status of your unclaimed property filing. The search is completely free.
The Official Website of the Aloha State is where you can find Hawaii unclaimed money in just a few minutes. Enter your first and last name and see what results pop up.
In Idaho, unclaimed money can be found on YourMoney.Idaho.gov. According to the site, since January 1, 2020, the state has paid out more than $2.6 million in unclaimed property.
The Treasurer’s Office website will let you search for Idaho unclaimed money. Since 2015, the state has returned more than $700 million in assets to the rightful owners.
The State of Indiana’s Office of the Attorney General will help you find Indiana unclaimed money. So far in 2020, more than $26 million has been returned to citizens of Indiana.
Find Iowa unclaimed money on the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt website. Iowa unclaimed property totals several million dollars per year, according to the website.
In Kansas, unclaimed money can be located on the Kansas State Treasurer website. The average paid claim for Kansas unclaimed property is $220.46.
Find Kentucky unclaimed money on the Kentucky State Treasurer website. The site lists thorough details on how to ensure you correctly search for your Kentucky unclaimed property.
In Louisiana, unclaimed money can be discovered on the Louisiana State Treasurer website. Just hit “Search for Unclaimed Property” to get started with your free search.
Find Maine unclaimed money by navigating to the State Treasurer website and starting your free search. According to the site, Maine unclaimed property totals $261,303,847; now, you can see if any of it is yours.
Go to the Comptroller of Maryland website to start your Maryland unclaimed money search for free. It’s part of the Maryland Taxes Online Services department.
Massachusetts unclaimed money can be located on the Unclaimed Property Division part of its official state website. There are an easy search tool and an email contact you can use if you’re having any issues finding your Massachusetts unclaimed property.
In Michigan, unclaimed money can be located on the state’s Department of Treasury website. More than $400 million was paid to Michigan citizens in the last five years.
The Minnesota Commerce Department website is where you can find Minnesota unclaimed money. According to the website, Commerce receives millions of dollars worth of unclaimed property each year.
The State Treasurer website is where you can locate Mississippi unclaimed money. On the site, all you have to do is put in your last name and hit “Go!” to start your free Mississippi unclaimed property search.
The Missouri State Treasurer holds Missouri unclaimed money for its residents. If you live in the state, don’t wait to start your free Missouri unclaimed property search.
Montana Unclaimed Money can be found on the Montana Department of Revenue website. Navigate to the site, hit the TransActionPortal and enter your information to start your free search.
In Nebraska, unclaimed money can be easily found on the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office website. Currently, there is $170 million in Nebraska unclaimed property.
The Nevada State Treasurer website is where you can find Nevada unclaimed money. You can search for Nevada unclaimed property, file a claim and check the status of the claim at any time.
In New Hampshire, unclaimed money can be found on the State Treasury’s Abandoned Property Division website. The state has returned more than $143,411,546 in New Hampshire unclaimed property.
The New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration website will help you find New Jersey unclaimed money in no time. Go to the site to search for claims for free and check your claim status.
On the state’s Taxation & Revenue website, you’ll be able to find New Mexico unclaimed money. The website even explains to you what unclaimed property is just in case you need a refresher.
In New York, unclaimed money can be found on the Office of the New York State Comptroller website. Since the beginning of 2020, $175,792,592 in New York unclaimed property has been returned.
The North Carolina Department of State Treasurer website will help you locate North Carolina unclaimed money. The site has a FAQ section in case you have any questions about your North Carolina unclaimed property search.
Find North Dakota unclaimed money on the Official Portal for North Dakota State Government website. Enter your first and last name to get started with finding your North Dakota unclaimed property.
The Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds website will help you locate your Ohio unclaimed money. Go to the “Find Missing Money” section to begin your free search.
Oklahoma unclaimed money can be found on the Oklahoma State Treasurer website. Hit “Search for Unclaimed Property” to find your unclaimed property.
In Oregon, unclaimed money can be found on the Oregon Unclaimed Property website. The state has returned more than $405,069,254 in Oregon unclaimed property.
The Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property website is where you can conduct your free search for Pennsylvania unclaimed money. There is more than $3.5 billion in Pennsylvania unclaimed property.
In Rhode Island, unclaimed money can be located on the Official of the General Treasurer website. Hit “Find Your Missing Money” to get started with your Rhode Island unclaimed property search.
The State Treasurer of South Carolina website is where you can find your South Carolina unclaimed money. You can search for South Carolina unclaimed property as well as track your claim for free.
In South Dakota, unclaimed money can be searched for on the State Treasurer website. Use the “Unclaimed Property” link and enter your information to get started.
The Tennessee Department of Treasury is where you can search for your Tennessee unclaimed money. According to the site, there’s more than $976 million in Tennessee’s unclaimed property fund.
In Texas, unclaimed money can be found on the Texas Unclaimed Property website. Conduct your search for free to find Texas unclaimed property swiftly.
Go to MyCash.Utah.gov, the state’s official Utah unclaimed money website, to locate your lost funds. According to the site, the state has returned more than $315,026,870 in Utah unclaimed property.
In Vermont, the Office of the State Treasurer website allows you to look for Vermont unclaimed money simply by entering your last name. You can also enter your town for a more specific Vermont unclaimed property search.
In Virginia, unclaimed money can be found on the website called Virginia Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program. Just hit “Click to claim your property” to begin your free search for Virginia unclaimed property.
Find Washington unclaimed money on ClaimYourCash.org, from the Department of Revenue in Washington State. According to the site, chances are one in two that you, or someone you know, has unclaimed property waiting for them.
Go to the West Virginia State Treasurer website to find your West Virginia unclaimed money. Type in your first and last name to begin your free search for West Virginia unclaimed property.
In Wisconsin, unclaimed money can be found on the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue website. Just go to the site and hit the big “Search” button to start looking.
Find Wyoming unclaimed money on the Wyoming State Treasurer website. Search Wyoming unclaimed property for free and check the status of your claim all on one site.
Unclaimed Money FAQ
Because there is not a centralized service that allows you to look for unclaimed money and assets all in a single location, you’ll need to visit your state’s online database. These websites are free to use, and conducting a search is as simple as inputting your name, city and state. Additionally, federal agencies such as the IRS and the Treasury Department also maintain their own websites where you can seach for tax returns, securities and other items of value, at no cost to you.
Searching for unclaimed money for a deceased relative is the same as conducting a search for your own unclaimed assets. In addition to a free service like Credit Karma, you can search your state’s unclaimed property office and federal agencies like TreasuryDirect.gov, FDIC.gov, NCUA.gov and the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool.
Similar to searching for missing funds for yourself or a deceased relative, looking for unclaimed money on behalf of an estate involves using online state and federal databases. However, consider modifying your search terms with words like executor, beneficiary, trustee, payable on death (POD), the estate of, and unknown heir. These simple modifications may help surface results that your search may otherwise miss.
You should not pay a fee to find unclaimed cash, since most websites are free to use. By law, state and federal agencies cannot not charge you a fee to search their online databases for unclaimed cash.