$3.235 billion! $ 7.763 billion! $42 billion!

According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), in 2015, $3.235 billion of unclaimed property was returned to rightful owners, while $7.763 billion of unclaimed property was sent to states.  States currently hold about $42 billion in unclaimed property.

So, what is unclaimed property?  For a variety of reasons, consumers are often owed money from businesses, governments, associations, and financial institutions.  Maybe the consumer overpaid or was owed a refund.  Maybe the amount owed is from an insurance settlement or a rebate.  For whatever reason, organizations often owe money to their customers, but can’t figure out how to get that money back to the rightful owner (individual, business or other entity).  Every state (and several other countries) has a program were those funds are transferred from the party that owes the money to state.  The state then publishes a list of unclaimed property, usually on the internet.  Individuals can search these database and claim money that is rightfully theirs.

How do you claim these funds?  The process begins with an internet search.  Most states run their own internet database.  You can find Texas’ database at claimittexas.org.  In addition, NAUPA runs a consolidated database that queries most individual state databases.  You can find this database at unclaimed.org.  If you find money that is rightfully yours, you can begin the claims process right there on the web.

Is it worth looking?  We ran a couple of our clients through the database.  We found SEVERAL matches!  Take a look and see what you find.