How to Find Lost Money

How to Find Missing Money

You know that feeling when you find $20 in an old pair of jeans? I think we can all agree that finding lost money, in any amount, is a moment to be celebrated. Today, I'm sharing a website that creates a similar story line. This site helps you find unclaimed money you never knew you lost.

I know what you're thinking. How can I possibly have money floating around that I don't know about? Well, remember when you paid a security deposit on that new apartment lease? Did you ever get it back? What about that old job you took out of college—how do you find your old 401k? How about that savings account your grandfather opened for you? Maybe you never even knew you had these funds! Other forms of unclaimed property can include uncashed payroll checks, refunds, trust distributions, insurance payments, money in safe deposit boxes, and more.

Luckily, there's an easy way to find out if you have unclaimed money. And to get it back if you do.


Do you have any missing money?

Each state has a consumer protection program designed to return lost, unclaimed money to its rightful owner. While each state maintains its own records, The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has a centralized website called Missing Money. This site allows you to search for unclaimed property across all regional databases. All you have to do is type in your name and state! For those of you who have lived in more than one state, make sure you search for yourself in each. Some of my friends had unclaimed money from several different residences.

A few months back, I felt particularly investigative and looked up some family members' names on Missing Money (maybe I should find a new hobby?). I quickly discovered that my cousin had an unclaimed $200 deposit from her old apartment complex in Houston. Needless to say, she had no idea that this money was hers and was eager to collect it.

Finding Unclaimed Property with | ModMoney

How to claim your lost money

If you find unclaimed property, you can start the claim process directly through the Missing Money website. The screenshot below shows you exactly what the claim page looks like. The site will ask you to fill in some personal information and then provide a separate form unique to your state's regulations. After you return this form, the state will mail you a check for the amount owed. It really is that simple! My cousin received her $200 check within a few weeks. And then I charged her a 10% commission (just kidding).

Finding Unclaimed Property | ModMoney

The Bottom Line

For all of my fellow sleuths out there, I can already see this playing out on a first date:

  • Her: So tell me about your time in Miami.
  • Him: *Looks confused.* Did I tell you I lived in Miami?
  • Her: *Turns bright red, but now it's too late.* ~blurts out~ Florida Power & Light owes you $60.

While I can't say for sure how the above scenario ends, there is a reason that we end anticlimactic stories with "and then I found $5." Finding money is a blissful feeling, even if it was ours all along! The Missing Money website makes it so easy to find and claim property you never realized was yours.

I'd love to know if you have success finding your forgotten money. Let me know in the comments below!

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