How to Find Lost Money
States and federal agencies have billions of dollars in unclaimed assets. Here's how to find out if any of it is yours.
Billions of dollars of unclaimed assets are sitting in state and federal coffers -- and some of that money could be yours. Accounts that have been inactive for at least a year end up in state treasuries and other agencies until someone claims them.
So if you moved, for example, a dividend check might not have made it to your new address. Or maybe your parents opened a savings account for you while you were in college and you forgot about it. If you think you have missing assets, there are plenty of Web sites that can help you track down your money. Laura Cohn tells you where to start your search in Where to Find Free Money in the March issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Here are some of the sources she lists:
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. -- Track down a lost pension.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- It has a list of unclaimed insured deposits at firms that were shut between 1989 and 1993. Post 1993 bank assets go directly to state treasuries.
The U.S. Treasury -- The Treasury Hunt tool can help you find a misplaced Treasury bond or a series E savings bond from 1974 or later.