It’s exciting to find a forgotten $20 bill in the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn in a long time or a purse you haven’t carried for a few months. Well, you might be able to find some lost money online too!
Conduct an Online Treasure Hunt
Recently a client found an old Roth IRA. It had been lost for years as he couldn’t remember where it was, a bank, an investment firm. He did an online search and found it. The account contained $2,400! The timing was very helpful as his daughter had an upcoming medical expense.
His story reminded me of a similar situation years ago. We did a search for a client and found lost property for him. It’s easy to do, and everyone should try it.
There are two ways to conduct a search:
- Google “Lost property for X” (your current state of residence.
- This will bring up your state’s Department of Treasury. This link is for Tennessee.
- Search by your name and the name of a business you owned if you had one. If you’ve married and changed your last name, search your birth and married last names.
- Or do the same at this site, which will let you search in each state you have resided in without going to each state’s Treasury site.
If you use the first method, be sure to check each state you’ve lived in. If you find lost property, you’ll be prompted on how to make a claim. Once you prove the money belongs to you, the state will send you a check. It’s that easy! It may take several weeks or even a few months, but hey, the money was lost, so time isn’t really an issue!
I now live in Tennessee, but I used to live in Arkansas, so I conducted a search there, and I got a hit. It was from an old, closed eBay seller account. The amount was small, and probably a refunded fee that was issued after I closed the account. The exact amount wasn’t specified but listed as between $0 and $50.
How Much Money Are We Talking?
Most people aren’t going to find a windfall quite as large as my client’s $2,400. Many of the claims are for things like forgotten utility deposits, gift cards, store credit, a small amount of interest paid to a bank account after it was closed, pretty small amounts. You don’t forget $50,000 in a bank account!
But in Tennessee alone, there is $1.2 billion in lost money! And some unclaimed funds come from things like safe deposit boxes, uncashed checks, insurance policies, CDs, trust funds, stocks, bonds, and escrow accounts. So the amounts could be higher for some people.
I recommend running one of these searches every five years or so. They only take a few seconds, and you never know what you might find! And found money is the best; you don’t feel bad about spending it on a little indulgence. So if you run a search and find something, let me know! I’d love to hear your story. And use it to treat yourself to a nice dinner!
I’ve recently created a YouTube channel. The videos are short, walk and talks where I take a stroll and talk about whatever’s on my mind.
Listen to the Full Episode:
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- What lost property is.
- What to search for when you start looking.
- The process of finding lost property in different states.
- How long the process takes.
Ideas Worth Sharing:
“You go through a process, file a claim, prove that you’re really the person claiming the money. Once it’s approved, they send you the check.” – Jonathan Bednar
“There is almost $1.2 billion of unclaimed property in the state of Tennessee. That is massive!” – Jonathan Bednar
“It can take a little while to claim the money, but it’s not bad since the money was missing to begin with.” – Jonathan Bednar
Resources In Today’s Episode:
- Jonathan Bednar: Email | Twitter | LinkedIn
- What The Wealth?! by Jonathan Bednar
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