Okay, this one came out of nowhere. Did you know that in the United States if a person, organization, or agency owes you money but they are unable to find you, the U.S. government will take that payment and put it in a nice little piggy bank for you? I sure didn’t, but I found out I had $50 in there which after a few web clicks is now on its way to my wallet where it belongs! I’m serious everyone, although this might sound a bit far-fetched, this is FOR REAL. This is not a scam!
Anyway, After going through the process I figured you groovyReaders would probably want to know about the hidden treasure site. As mentioned above, I had $50 sitting out there waiting for me!
What is Unclaimed Property?
According to the US Government, Unclaimed Property is:
- Bank accounts
- Insurance proceeds
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Safe deposit box contents
- Utility and phone company deposits
- Uncashed checks, such as payroll, insurance payments, or travelers checks
Unclaimed property does not include real estate, vehicles, and most other physical property.
So now that we know WHAT unclaimed property is, lets find out if you have any!
Step 1 – Find Your State’s Unclaimed Property Administration Website
In your internet browser, go to http://www.unclaimed.org/ and Select your State. I guess it also works for some Canadian provinces and even Puerto Rico.
For me here in WA, it was http://claimyourcash.org/. Depending on what state you are in the websites can vary and the interface may be different, this step-by-step how-to is just to walk you through and give you a general idea of how it works.
Step 2 – Enter Your Name
On the first page you visit you should be prompted for your First and Last Name, or Business Name, or Reference Number. If you have more than one of these you’ll need to do each one separately, but to keep it simple we’ll just go over using a First and Last name. Once entered Click Search.
Step 3 – Look for Claim Packages
On the side-menu Click Your Claim Packages. Once that page loads, Click Look for More.
Step 4 – Find Claim Packages
If the system finds a claim package in the system for you, it will ask you to truthfully answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire for me was only one question, so it was rather simple. Answer the question and then Click Next.
Step 5 – Provide Proof
The system will ask you to provide proof that you are who you say you are. There are 2 options here. First can electronically provide proof by attaching the file, document, or pdf that contains the proof. Secondly, you can just snail mail it to them. Of course being the groovy geek that I am I didn’t bother with the snail mail option, electronically it is! All I did was attach my Property Tax form that I had to fill out every year as the owner of the property.
Step 6 – Print or Save Your Proof Submission Receipt
As soon as you submit your proof you’ll be brought to a page that gives you a reference number and is basically a receipt for your submission. It is a really good idea to print or save this page for your records, you never know if someone at the unclaimed property administration will *accidently* lose your information.
Step 7 – Enter Your Mailing Address
Your State’s Unclaimed Property organization will mail you a check, but they need to know where to send it. Enter your mailing address and Click Next.
Step 8 – Print or Save Confirmation Your Claim Package Was Received
After you finish submitting all of the required information your claim status will change to Received. Again, when you see this page it is a good idea to print or save this page for your own personal records.
Now you just need to wait 60 days for processing –sure feels a lot like a mail-in-rebate eh? After the claim has been processed they will either mail you a check or contact you, but I say you should keep an eye on it incase they get sloppy. I submitted my request in early August and I’m STILL waiting. Will keep you updated when I get it!
How much cash does the government owe you? Post your “winnings” below! Would love to know how much cash is waiting out there for all you groovyReaders to claim!