Like Winning the Lottery
Nothing beats the feeling of finding a $20 bill in the jeans you just washed — except, perhaps, finding hundreds of dollars — your own "missing" money — using a free website.
Whether it's from a bank account you forgot to close, uncashed checks, pensions, utility refunds or security deposits, there are billions of dollars to be claimed through each state's unclaimed property program. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), there is currently about $3.4 billion in unclaimed property and approximately $586 million in shared property that has been partially claimed and paid to some of the owners — and that's just within Texas.
One in four Texans has unclaimed property, and in 2014 alone, the state returned more than $200 million to owners.
NAUPA says that one in four Texans has unclaimed property, and in 2014 alone, the state returned more than $200 million to owners.
So how do you find out if there is money out there with your name on it?
MissingMoney.com is an official, searchable database for NAUPA, and although not every state is currently included in the database, Texas residents' records are indeed available.
With a simple search — first name, last name and state of residence — users can find out if they have money to claim. It even lets you know if the amount is above or below $100.
With sufficient proof of ownership — which can be submitted through the site — it takes three to four months for the state's program to review, process and pay claims in Texas. You can still file a claim if the person to whom the property belongs is deceased as long as you can provide documentation that you are the rightful heir.
Although I didn't find any "missing money" in my own name, I discovered that my grandfather had five listings, and the site indicated that each was for an amount over $100. Thanks to this discovery, my father — his heir — has gone forward to claim the money and is currently awaiting payment from NAUPA.
Another Houstonian I know received a check for $1.23 from Comcast after checking the site. It was a stock dividend that didn't get forwarded to him in the mail and was turned over to the state of Texas.
Whether it's $1.23 or $1,000, one simple online search might just make you some money. Can Google promise that?