There are literally billions of dollars sitting around in unclaimed bank accounts, retirement funds, and federal and state income tax refunds.  

I wanted to share with you a couple of ways to determine if you (or your family members) are owed any money and how you can go about claiming it. 

Let’s assume that you have moved and forgot to close some bank accounts.  Or think that you closed checking or savings accounts—but they may still be active.  Depending on your state, banks are required to transfer those funds to the state of your last known addresses.  You can visit www.unclaimed.org.   If you find your name on the list, you can request your cash online.  You can also request the money not claimed by a deceased relative with proof of death and executor information.

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If you have owned a life insurance policy, or think a deceased relative had one, you can also find it on www.Unclaimed.org.  Start with the name of the agent who sold the policy.  If you don’t know the name of the agent, go to www.naic.org, run by the state’s insurance agencies.  And if you or a deceased relative was in the military, check out www.insurance.va.gov/unclaimedfunds 

Finally, did you have a pension or 401K with a previous employer?  If they are still in business, contact them.  If not, you may be able to find if there is any money due you by going to www.freeERISA.com.  Or if your 401K company fund was terminated, check out www.askebsa.dol.gov/abandonedplansearchbecause you may still qualify for a payment. 

If you believe that you have money due you, but can’t find it, there are people who can do it for you.  They will take a cut of the found cash.  But whatever you do, DO NOT PAY them upfront.  Reputable companies will not take a cut until they recover the money for you.