In Search of Lost Money and How it Just Got Easier

NebraskaEvery state in the union apparently has a website where you can search for your name, or the name of an organization, and see if money that should be yours has instead gotten tangled up in some kind of bureaucratic spam filter. In other words, your money could be waiting for you right now, like little orphan Annie in the window of Miss Hannigan’s singing the wistful song, “Maybe.” It sounds like a scam, but it isn’t! (At least not according to Slate.)

Billions of dollars have been lost. Could some of it be yours?
NAUPA is the association of the state unclaimed property programs, but the databases are located and maintained by each state, not NAUPA. However, most states participate in MissingMoney and we suggest that you search there. You may also link to all state databases individually from this Web site. … Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.

No one owes my husband or me money, unfortunately, or the organization I last worked for that folded shortly after I left. But just for kicks, I searched “FJC,” which was that organization’s shorthand, and I got a good sense of what’s out there. An organization called FJC Budget Plan, Inc, in Albany has four different piles of cash waiting for it. Meanwhile FJC Securities in Floral Park, NY, has twelve bundles of missing money it could claim whenever it wants.

After checking some friends’ names without any luck, I tried my husband’s old law firm and sure enough they have some dollars they are owed! Perhaps I will alert them and get a finder’s fee and it will be enough to buy a new sweater.

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