by Kara Deniz
Temple News Staff Writer
There is over $20 billion of unclaimed money in the United States. With one quick visit to missingmoney.com, it’s possible to hit the jackpot. Finding money you never knew you had is just a click away. Sponsored by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), missingmoney.com provides the public with a free and easy to use service.
Currently, 27 states are represented and about two are added monthly. Providing a family name, social security number or business name is all that’s needed to find out if there are unclaimed funds for you.
How is it that people could have money that they don’t know exists? Oftentimes, people move and forget that they have an account or are unaware of a deceased relative’s funds. Company and clerical errors can also occur, leaving members of the public with checks they did not know were owed to them. When there is unclaimed money, the state will obtain it from the companies and hold it. This is where missingmoney.com comes in. The site lists names and last known addresses of those with unclaimed money. The company that owes the person is also listed.
The site is simple to use and has a novel concept. Most importantly, since the service is free users will not have to pay an “heir-finders fee.” The fee normally runs from 10 percent to 50 percent of the amount of missing money.
The only problematic aspect of the site is that states such as Pennsylvania, nearby New York and New Jersey are not listed. Sometimes states will not list unclaimed money if it’s under a certain dollar amount, leaving the possibility there’s unclaimed money in a person’s name not listed on the site. In addition, searching for a first, middle and last name doesn’t always work. It’s not uncommon that a search for a particular person could bring up fifty people with the same name.
Overall, missingmoney.com provides exceptional service as evidenced by its endless success stories too lengthy to list. For the rest of the public, even if there’s no money out there waiting for them, it’s the hope that brings them to this site. With one out of eight Americans having unclaimed money, missingmoney.com is worth checking out.