Lie # 1: The holder responsible for your accounts will look for you for 3 years before handing your money over to the government.
Truth: The holder of the money does not look very hard to find you.
If you have an account opened with a company or institution, say a bank account for example, and have moved or become unreachable by your bank, the bank is responsible for trying to locate you for 3 years. After 3 years has past with no contact from you, the bank will turn over your property, or money, to the government to store in an unclaimed money trust fund until you claim it. Unfortunately it is very questionable how hard these companies or institutions look for you.
For example, in the California state database the following have unclaimed money owed to them: Reese Witherspoon, Benecio Del Toro, Ryan Seacrest, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver. Also, interesting to find that money in the CA state unclaimed money database there is money owed to the State of California DMV, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department and Social Services. This means the state of California is holding its own unclaimed money and can not find itself! Did the companies that were holding this money really look very hard to find the owners?
Lie # 2: There are a few people owed unclaimed money.
Truth: There are millions of people owed unclaimed money.
The total of unclaimed money is billions and billions of dollars owed to millions and millions of people. The amount of accounts turned over to the states annually is staggering! In Arizona alone $ 50 MILLION in unclaimed funds were reported to the state for 2004. The state of Florida is holding $ 1 BILLION! On the Washington State website for unclaimed money they state 1 in 7 are owed money!
Lie # 3: If you search for money in your state you will find all that is owed to you.
Truth: If you only search for money in your state of residence you may miss money that is owed to you.
If you have ever lived outside your current state of residence or have done any business with any company (s) outside your state, the money may be reported in the state where the company exists.
For example: If you lived in California your whole life but had an insurance policy with a company in New York and they had no address on record, the money owed from the policy would be listed in the New York state database not California.
Inheritance is often reported in the state of residence for the Deceased, since it is unclaimed chances are the heir's address is unknown.
Most states have their own searchable database, but remember, searching your own state is not enough.
Lie # 4: All you have to do to receive your unclaimed money check is fill out a form.
Truth: You will have to fill out a claim form and provide identification.