March 24, 2011

GMA Shares Tips For Finding Unclaimed Money

Billions of dollars, That's the amount of unclaimed money in the United States waiting to be given back to the rightful owners. The money includes forgotten apartment security deposits, uncashed overtime checks and lost insurance refunds, and it's sitting there, waiting for you.

Banks and other businesses are required to turn unclaimed money over to the states for safekeeping. The 50 states plus the District of Columbia have set up a free website you can use to see whether there are any forgotten funds in your name.

Click Here to see extra tips for how to search for missing money.

"GMA" decided to try it out.

At the crossroads of America, in Times Square, we set up our "GMA" unclaimed money headquarters.

Soon, we are in business and I am either a hero or a zero.

At first, we are sweating actually freezing as we come up with nothing. Nada.

But then along comes a lucky lady.

Motorola owes her money and the state of New York is sending a check.

It's important to check every state where you have lived.

And every name you've ever lived under.

Thirty-two minutes into our experiment, we hit a streak.

We found modest amounts of money for several people in a row.

Not all state websites tell you how much money you have coming.

Then a woman approached us who suspected there was unclaimed money in her husband's name. Sure enough, there were funds waiting for him from sort of unused cashier's check. And we suspected the dollar amount was high because the state of New York wasn't willing to blindly send a check. Instead, the state wanted the couple to submit a notarized affidavit to claim their funds.

We conducted 25 searches found missing money in seven of the cases.

We found money for those happy people by using the free website set up by the states. But there are some new ways to find unclaimed money by checking with the feds as well.

The Treasury Department

The Treasury Department has billions of dollars worth of savings bonds that have matured and aren't earning interest anymore but haven't been cashed in by the owners. The treasury has set up a website where you can search by social security number.


Bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and if you didn't collect your money when the bank went under, the FDIC holds that money for you. For failed credit unions, the National Credit Union Association does the same thing.

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