Billions in unclaimed assets are sitting in state and federal coffers.
1. The money is out there. Small amounts in dormant savings accounts and safe-deposit boxes can really add up. In 2006, when the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators last conducted a nationwide tally, states' treasuries were collectively guarding nearly $33 billion, and that figure is likely higher today. Almost every state has an online database of unclaimed or abandoned property ; for NAUPA’s directory of those sites, go to www.unclaimed.org. Most states also provide information to MissingMoney.com, a NAUPA-endorsed Web site.
2. The feds have a stash, too. States aren’t the only ones holding on to lost loot. To see if you have a tax refund, for example, go to the “Where’s My Refund” tool at www.irs.gov. Unredeemed U.S. savings bonds issued in 1974 or later are listed at www.treasuryhunt.gov. (To find older savings bonds, you’ll need to ask the Treasury, in writing, to conduct a manual search.)