Find your unclaimed money
Take 5 minutes to do a quick online check for funds you might have lost track of.
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
The IRS said at the end of November that nearly 100,000 Americans had unclaimed tax refunds, with an average check of $1,547 waiting. But if you're thinking you'd never leave money like that on the table, think again. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, state agencies are holding more than $32 billion in unclaimed funds.
In the video below, Stacy Johnson takes a look at the types of claims you can file and where to make them. Check it out, then read on for links to get started.
As Stacy said, about one in eight people have unclaimed property waiting. So even if you don't, someone you know probably does. Checking is free and takes only a few minutes, so there's nothing to lose. Here's how you look:
- Money from failed banks (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.).
- Money from failed credit unions (National Credit Union Administration).
- Money from companies you invested in that failed or are part of class-action fraud lawsuits (Securities and Exchange Commission).
- FHA-insured mortgage refunds (Department of Housing and Urban Development).
- Pension funds (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.).
- Tax refunds (Internal Revenue Service).
- Savings bonds (Department of the Treasury).
- Veterans benefits (Department of Veterans Affairs).
Trace old stocks. Old stock and bond certificates can still mean money if the company merged with another or changed its name. However, unlike claiming other kinds of money, this isn't free. The SEC has a list of resources for researching old stock certificates, but they all charge a fee to do it. If you don't think it's worth the fee or you find out the stocks are worthless, you still might be able to sell them as collectibles.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
@kahm: You can go to the National Association of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits for a quick look. I had the link in here but this stupid program won't allow me to provide the information you need. This is for active plans with inactive participants. Chances are that the plan might have been terminated. In that case, if they can't find you, they can roll it over to a traditional IRA, open a savings account in your name (you get tax penalties if you don't qualify to take money out) or they may turn it over eventually to the state of your last known address. If they didn't have your address, the money would be turned over to the state in which the bank was incorporated. Go to unclaimed (dot) org to check the unclaimed property site in any state you've lived in. (NOTE: This is .org, NOT.com that will charge you!)
You can find additional information about terminated 401K plans by going to The Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (again, it won't let me give you the link so you can find the information you need easily.)
You can research bank "genealogy" buy going to the National Information Center: ffiec (dot) gov.
I hope this was helpful. Look for me on America's Money Class with Suze Orman, her new show on OWN, that premiers on January 9. I'll be on January 30. It's a 6-part series. Watch all 6 episodes. Take the final exam within 24 hours after the last class and pass with at least 80% and YOU could win up to $50,000!!
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