Missing Money: 5 Facts You Need to Know

The flow of money is so complex that even the most meticulous people sometimes cannot explain where their money is. It could be lying dormant in a state property fund. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), states are collectively holding $42 billion in unclaimed money in the United States. This money ranges from IRS refunds, dormant savings accounts, uncashed payroll checks, life insurance payouts among other funds.

Joshua Joyce, an administrator of unclaimed property at the Arizona Department of Revenue, said that this is a growing area in the U.S. and it is surprising to learn just how many people are unaware of the existence of government programs. To this effect, there are 5 facts that every U.S. citizen must know to help reduce the amount of missing money held by the U.S government.

Do Not Assume That There Is Nothing To Claim

In her book, The Little Book of Missing Money, Mary Pitman states that the biggest hurdle for the government is that people assume that this issue does not concern them. She proceeds by enlightening her readers that it is possible and extremely easy for money to end up in the state property department, especially since some states are known to be particularly aggressive in withholding dormant funds. It is therefore important for every citizen to ensure that they check their missing money status using available tools and claim their funds.

There Is No Statute Of Limitations On Unclaimed Money

While speaking to USA Today, Mary Pitman advised heirs to check the status of their deceased relatives because there is no statute of limitations on unclaimed money. She however cautioned that although 11 of the states do not participate in the giveback, relatives should still regularly check the sites regularly to spot missing money as soon as it appears in the state funds.

There Have Been Great And Successful Refunds

Although some states are notorious for snagging these payments, there have been successful claims. Connecticut’s state treasurer reported that a resident was allocated $32.8 million in refunds and in that year alone, the state made refunds of up to $83.5 million.

Use Government- Approved Search Engines To Know If You Qualify

Most unclaimed funds go missing for a number of reasons like lost contact and poor estate planning, according to Joshua Joyce, administrator of unclaimed property at the Arizona Department of Revenue.

To determine if one qualifies or not, you could take advantage of NAUPA endorsed search engines or other government sites. MissingMoney.com for instance, is a free to search and free to claim search engine. Although 11 states do not participate, the website valuably lists contact information and links to databases run by these states. Unclaimed.org, another NAUPA’s website, lists other databases such as Treasuryhunt.gov, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, and IRS.gov that might help.

There are also pay sites that offer extensive and thorough search results. For these, it is extremely advisable for users to only pay after receiving their respective search results and ensure payments do not exceed 20% of their refunds.


NAUPA Is Not Limited To The U.S. Alone

NAUPA does not only work in the U.S. but also in Canada, Quebec and British Columbia. According to their official website, their work is also further spread out to Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.