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Finding and Claiming Lost Money

By: Financial Education / 30 Apr 2020
Finding and Claiming Lost Money

Finding a little extra money can go a long way nowadays. Thanks to government agencies and the Internet, you could locate a little extra cash. But it can take some digging to find it. We've put together a quick list of resources to help you search local, state, and national government agencies for abandoned funds you might have.  

Search Your State (and others)
There is more than $32 billion in unclaimed money being held by the states. If you have abandoned funds, and a bank, brokerage, or other company cannot find you, they turn the funds over to the state until the owner is found. Abandoned funds can come from an old safe deposit box, a tax return, an insurance policy, a trust fund, an uncashed overtime check, a rental security deposit, and more. Start your search with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators at

Search the Treasury Department
The Bureau of Public Debt holds billions in unmatured, unredeemed savings bonds. If you think one of your relatives may have bought a savings bond for you when you were born, then you need to use the Treasury Department's free search tool. You might need the Social Security number of the person who bought it, but if your name is on the bond, you can begin the claims process at

Search Unclaimed Deposits
Sometimes, checks go uncashed and deposits go unclaimed. It can happen, especially if a mailing address is incorrect or the post office doesn't have a forwarding address. As a credit union member, you should download the NCUA's Asset Management and Assistance Center list of unclaimed deposits at It's not a long list, but there's always a possibility.

Search the IRS
The Internal Revenue Service has millions in refunds that have yet to find the rightful owners. Unlike doing your taxes, the IRS makes searching the database easy at

Search for Pensions
The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) safeguards private pensions and helps reunite pensioners with their money. If you think you may have a pension or your spouse may have had funds in one, visit

In the same way, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) works to ensure retirement funds find their way to the rightful owners. Check out the agency's site at

Search for 401(k) Funds
Depending on where you've worked, you could have a few 401(k) funds floating around. That money could come in handy someday. To track down yours, visit

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