Missing some cash? Search for unclaimed property to find out

Ever had the feeling that you didn’t get a check or payment you were due, or just want to see if anyone owes you money that you forgot about?  Search your state’s unclaimed property records to see if there’s some ‘found money’ just waiting for you to pick it up.

Go to http://www.unclaimed.org/ and select your US state(s) &/or Canadian province(s) of past & present residence, and  search for any unclaimed property in your name (or the names of family/friends).

It’s quick, easy, and who knows, something may turn up like it did for me!

For those in the state of Washington, you can go straight to this link to skip directly to Washington’s unclaimed property search.  Click here if you’re an Oregonian, and here to search California.

Washington state requires you to upload a picture of your ID and proof that you lived at the residence attached to the unclaimed property. I just took a picture of my driver’s license & uploaded it all on my phone, and then searched my email for copies of old leases or bills and uploaded one of those to prove my old addresses. Took me about 15 minutes to submit three separate claims for ~$10 – $25 each, and we got back over $100 between me and my wife, mostly for old cable/internet bill refunds due to us but never received. Awesome!

Proof that it works!

Author: Ward Williams

Personal finance blogger with an interest in saving, investing, and learning new skills and doing things for myself & others!

3 thoughts on “Missing some cash? Search for unclaimed property to find out”

  1. Ward, I find this to be a provocative post…

    Becky alerted me to it, and it reminds me of something. A few months back, I moved and updated my address with the post office. Within a month of the address change, I got a letter stating that I had an unclaimed wage check worth like 150 bucks or something. I assumed it was a scam, and so disregarded it. With the context of your post (and the Oregon unclaimed property FAQ), I wonder now if this wasn’t a so-called “Finder” agency. Do you suppose they are able to cross-reference state databases with post office address-updates? Also, do you know if they’re ever able to work on such things before the 3-year period after which businesses must report unclaimed property to the state (I saw it was 3 years in OR, anyway)?

    Doing a search on the Oregon site, I don’t see my name come up. It’s possible that the wages are from companies in New Mexico or Montana. Do you know whether out-of-state companies report unclaimed property to their own state, or the state of the last known address?

    1. @ Ben – I don’t know how each state (or any ‘Finder’) agencies do their searches. I don’t know how out of state companies report unclaimed property, but you could try searching the unclaimed property state where the company is located.

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