Claim Unclaimed Property: Tip-of-the-Day #156


Did you know that you could have anywhere from a few dollars to thousands in assets just waiting to be claimed? The items can vary (ranging from cash, to land, to an old certificate of deposit). I'm sure you've seen the obnoxious, late night TV commercials and the flashy online banner ads that offer to find this unclaimed property for you (for a "small fee"), but the truth is, you can do it yourself. For free.

• Most state treasurer's offices have their own Web sites, with a searchable directory of all people owning unclaimed property. However, this can be a time-consuming method of finding property, especially if you've lived in various states. Web sites such as and (both maintained by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators) can save a little time by giving you a one-stop shop for all the treasurer's departments and a combination search tool for many states at once.

• When you've found your treasure, it's usually easy to claim. A simple form and some identification is all that most states require in order to send your property to you. (Note: Be sure that you are always dealing directly with the state treasurer or an assigned party on their behalf. You should never be asked to pay money to get what's rightfully yours.)

• If you don't find that you have any unclaimed property, you can still benefit. Many state treasurer's offices sell the goods that have sat unclaimed for too long (putting aside the proceeds in case of a later claim), and you might get a great buy for these treasures on eBay.

I already looked to see if I had a pot of gold at the end of some rainbow and I don't. But you might! Go have a look!

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