Did you know that there is such a thing as state unclaimed funds?
Some people call it missing money.
Let me explain how I came to be aware of funds that were rightly mine and that my state was holding onto.
In 2007 my husband and I moved to a new house located about a mile away from where we used to live.
We’d lived at this previous address for almost eight years.
If you’ve ever moved, then you know that the USPS forwards mail for just one year.
After a year, everything is sent back “return to sender.”
This includes unclaimed funds from your state.
Anyway, we discovered that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue was trying to track us down. Why?
Because it had money that we’d literally left behind at our old address.
Again, since the U.S. Postal Service only forwards mail for a certain amount of time, we never received those letters letting us know that we had unclaimed funds to, well, claim.
Update: We received the missing money, which turned out to be $225.71 from an old Upromise account we’d started before our daughters went to college.
FYI, the youngest graduated in 2019.
I’m glad Pennsylvania held onto this money for us.
See the check, below. That’s not chump change.
Why there are state unclaimed funds
Turns out lots of Americans have left money behind at an old address or in a state where they no longer live.
Many have no idea about it.
Some estimate there is more than $50 billion in unclaimed funds in the United States.
There are lots of reasons people end up with unclaimed funds or missing money. Some examples:
- deposits you’d left for an old utility service
- interest from a bank account
- uncashed tax refund check
- dividends from stocks
In fact, we discovered this last example after my husband’s aunt died.
Before she died she’d put our Pennsylvania address as her forwarding address.
So when the letter about two stock dividends she’d earned arrived at her old New York home, it was sent to our address.
These dividends were from 2007; she died in 2014.
The letter about them arrived in 2018.
How that letter managed to find us four years later is still a miracle and mystery to us.
What’s involved in getting unclaimed funds from your state
Getting money that is owed to you is free and a completely legitimate endeavor.
That is, each state’s Department of Revenue (or some similar department or division having to do with money at the state level) has set up a website where you can go to find out if money is owed to you.
You can even search for people you know to see if they have missing money in the form of unclaimed funds.
While most states only hold onto this money for about five years, the example I’ve shared above shows that some states will hold onto that money for much longer.
How to find state unclaimed funds
I figured readers across the country would want to know how and where they could go about finding unclaimed funds in their state and in their name.
This is especially important if you find your budget tightening and you’re looking for extra cash for the holidays or beyond.
Also, it’s the right thing to do. That’s your money, and the state shouldn’t get to keep it.
That’s why I’ve put together an alphabetical list of each state’s treasury or revenue department’s office that handles unclaimed funds.
In addition, I’ve provided a link to each.
This will make it easier for you to check and see if you or a family member has any missing money to your name.
In addition to the 50 states, I’ve included a link to the District of Columbia site as well.
Searching for a deceased person’s missing money
Finally, if you’re searching for someone who is deceased, keep the following in mind.
You will have to go through multiple steps to claim that money.
One, you must be an executor of the estate or some other appointed person to file the claim.
Two, you must have the death certificate.
Three, you’ll need other identifying information about the individual with unclaimed funds, such as an old utility bill that matches the address of the missing money.
Four, you’ll need that person’s social security number. Some states may ask you for your social security number, too.
And, five, if you’re required to provide your social security number, you may have to pay taxes on the money you’ve found on a deceased person’s behalf.
Search states for unclaimed funds for free
Keep in mind that you never have to pay anyone to get this information. If someone offers to do the work for you for a fee, it’s a scam.
Lest you think searching for unclaimed funds isn’t worth it, let me tell you this: last year a woman in Missouri discovered she had $6.1 million in missing money.
Sure, you may find you have unclaimed funds in only the two, three or four figures, but why wouldn’t you take the time to uncover money that is rightly yours?
Alphabetical list of state unclaimed funds and property
Now that I’ve explained how you go about getting your missing money, here is the alphabetical list with each state’s government office that handles unclaimed property and funs.
State of Alabama unclaimed funds
The Alabama State Treasury Unclaimed Property Division handles missing money in the state.
It says that it’s paid out more than $146 million in unclaimed funds in the past five years to AL residents (past and present).
State of Alaska missing money
It is the Alaska Department of Revenue Treasury Division that holds onto unclaimed funds in this state.
State of Arizona abandoned assets
The Arizona Department of Revenue has authorized the website Missing Money dot com to help its residents find any unclaimed funds.
According to the AZ Revenue Department, currently there is more than $1.8 billion in unclaimed money in the state.
State of Arkansas unclaimed property
The Arkansas Auditor of State refers to AR residents’ missing money as unclaimed property.
State of California unclaimed funds
Here is how the California State Controller’s Office Unclaimed Property website describes its mission:
“California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office when there has been no activity for a period of time (generally three years). Common types of unclaimed property are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, and safe deposit box contents. Property does not include Real Estate.”
State of Colorado lost funds
In 2022 the Colorado Office of State Treasurer shared that February 1, 2022, was National Unclaimed Property Day, adding this:
“Last fiscal year, The Great Colorado Payback returned almost $43 million to 23,462 claimants through our Unclaimed Property Division.”
To locate missing money in CO, visit the Find Your Unclaimed Property website.
State of Connecticut missing money
The Connecticut State Treasury Unclaimed Property Owners List is called CT Unclaimed Property.
The CT Big List website is where you can search for missing money in Connecticut.
State of Delaware unclaimed property
You’ll want to visit the website of the Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property’s Money Match program to search for missing money in the first state.
Washington DC unclaimed property
You’ll need to visit the District of Columbia (Washington DC) Office of the Chief Financial Officer to search for and claim any missing money.
However, unlike other places and states, you cannot file a claim online.
Instead, you must request a form be mailed to you, then completed and notarized before returning it.
State of Florida unclaimed money
The Florida Department of Financial Services runs the Florida Unclaimed Property website, known colloquially as FL Treasure Hunt.
In addition to searching online here for missing money, the state has in-person auctions for unclaimed property.
State of Georgia unclaimed property
The Department of Revenue runs the Georgia Unclaimed Property Program. Reach the GA unclaimed website here.
State of Hawaii unclaimed funds
The State of Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance runs the Unclaimed Property Program.
The website lists examples of what would qualify as unclaimed property or funds:
- Contents of safe deposit boxes
- Deposits held by utility companies
- Dormant savings and checking accounts
- Insurance and medical refunds
- Shares of stock
- Uncashed travelers checks, money orders, dividend checks, payroll checks
State of Idaho unclaimed money
The Idaho State Treasurer’s Office runs the Idaho unclaimed property website.
State of Illinois unclaimed cash
You’ll need to visit the Illinois State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Page online to search for any missing money you might have in IL.
State of Indiana unclaimed property
The Indiana Unclaimed website and the Unclaimed Property Division are part of the IN Office of the Attorney General’s office.
State Treasurer of Iowa
The State of Iowa Treasurer is in charge of the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt aka the IA missing money website.
You can search for your unclaimed property on that website.
State of Kansas unclaimed property
The Treasurer’s Office of the State of Kansas runs the unclaimed property program and website.
In the past year KS has returned more than $37 million, with the average claim just under $275. Not too shabby.
Commonwealth of Kentucky unclaimed funds
The Kentucky State Treasurer administers the Unclaimed Property Fund in KY and runs the website where you can search for missing money.
State of Louisiana unclaimed property
The Louisiana State Treasurer’s Office is responsible for the Louisiana Unclaimed Property program and website.
State of Maine unclaimed funds
The Maine Unclaimed Property Office is run through the Office of the State Treasurer.
Currently, this office has more than $292 million of Mainers’ unclaimed property and funds.
State of Maryland unclaimed property
Unclaimed property in Maryland is under the Maryland Taxes Online Services, which the Comptroller of MD oversees.
So don’t freak out when you click through this link and see something about taxes. You’re in the right place.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts unclaimed funds
The Office of State Treasurer and Receiver General has set up a website for MA missing money. It is part of the Unclaimed Property Division.
State of Michigan missing money
The MI Money Match is what Michigan calls its unclaimed property program.
Unclaimed property falls under the auspices of the Michigan Department of Treasury.
State of Minnesota unclaimed funds
You’ll want to visit MN Unclaimed Property, part of the Minnesota Commerce Department, to find unclaimed cash or missing money.
State of Mississippi unclaimed funds
You’ll begin your search for unclaimed money in Mississippi on the website of the State Treasury of MS.
State of Montana missing money
By law, the Montana Department of Revenue holds unclaimed property in trust indefinitely for owners to claim.
To search for unclaimed funds in MT, you’ll need to visit the website of the Montana State Government.
State of Nebraska unclaimed property
The Nebraska State Treasurer runs the Nebraska Unclaimed Property aka NE Unclaimed Property division and website.
State of Nevada unclaimed property
Here is how the NV Treasurer’s Office describes its unclaimed property division:
“Nevada Unclaimed Property exists for the purpose of accepting custody of abandoned property belonging to current or former Nevada residents and working to return the property to its rightful owners and heirs.”
State of New Hampshire missing money
You’ll need to search on the New Hampshire State Treasury’s Abandoned Property Division website NH Unclaimed Property to find any missing money.
State of New Jersey unclaimed funds
The Unclaimed Funds website in NJ is run by New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration.
State of New Mexico unclaimed property
The NM Taxation and Revenue office runs the New Mexico Unclaimed Property Unit.
However, it relies on a third party website for searching for unclaimed funds. You’ll find a link on this page.
New York State unclaimed funds
The State of New York State Comptroller, who runs the Unclaimed Funds office, lets you search all of NY for missing money.
Curious about how much money is missing based on region? The website has a state map for that.
State of North Carolina unclaimed funds
It is designed to make it easier for unclaimed and abandoned property owners in North Carolina to receive their money.
State of North Dakota unclaimed funds
In North Dakota, Unclaimed Property is a division of the Department of Trust Lands which serves under the direction and authority of the Board of University and School Lands.
State of Ohio unclaimed funds
The Ohio Department of Commerce runs the Division of Unclaimed Funds.
Oklahoma State unclaimed property
The Oklahoma State Treasurer’s office runs OKTreasure.
State of Oregon missing funds
The Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Program helps Oregonians access unclaimed assets, such as uncashed checks, forgotten security deposits, tax refunds.
As such, it is part of the OR State Treasury.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unclaimed funds
The PA Treasury oversees all unclaimed property claims and helps reunite Pennsylvania residents (past and present) with missing money.
State of Rhode Island missing money
The State of Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer explains the RI unclaimed funds program this way:
“Each year, the Treasurer’s office recovers unclaimed cash and assets from businesses, banks, landlords, safe deposit boxes and utility companies. The property is kept safe until it can be returned to its rightful owner. More than 300,000 Rhode Islanders have property waiting to be returned to them, and many don’t even realize it.”
State of South Carolina unclaimed property
The State Treasurer of South Carolina Office handles all unclaimed properties in SC.
State of South Dakota unclaimed funds
The South Dakota State Treasurer runs the unclaimed assets office.
On the one hand, it says that one in four SD residents likely have missing money.
On the other hand, you’d be a fool not to search for unclaimed property here if you’d ever lived in SD.
State of Tennessee unclaimed property
The Tennessee Department of Treasury implores you to find your missing money.
Therefore, make sure you visit the Claim It TN website here.
That’s where you’ll be able to file for unclaimed property in Tennessee.
State of Texas unclaimed funds
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts runs the TX program for unclaimed property and money.
State of Utah missing assets
The Utah State Treasurer oversees the state’s Unclaimed Property Division.
State of Vermont unclaimed property
The Unclaimed Property Division of the Vermont State Treasurer Office reunites Vermont residents with lost and/or abandoned assets.
According to the website, the VT database contains more than 760,000 properties valued at more than $99 million.
Therefore, if you’ve ever lived in Vermont, it’s definitely worth searching.
Commonwealth of Virginia unclaimed funds
The VA State Treasury runs the Unclaimed Property Division.
In 2022 they debuted a new website called VA Money Search: Virginia’s Treasury Unclaimed Property Division.
Washington State missing money
The Washington State Department of Revenue will be updating its search parameters in 2023, due to a new law that takes effect on the first of the year.
However, in the meantime you can search on this WA Unclaimed Property website.
State of West Virginia unclaimed property
You can search for missing money or find out about unclaimed property auctions on the WV State Treasury website.
State of Wisconsin missing assets
The State of Wisconsin Division of Revenue aims to reunite WI residents with missing assets and unclaimed property.
State of Wyoming unclaimed funds
The Wyoming State Treasurer oversees all unclaimed property and lets you search on the WY government website.
Final thoughts on state unclaimed funds
Now that I’ve gone through every state and their respective unclaimed property offices, I wanted to add one more thing: the Federal Government may also be holding unclaimed funds for you. However, that’s harder to track down.
As I learned when I visited the Bureau of Fiscal Services, part of the Treasury Department, you need to search within each Federal office that might have funds for you.
While that’s not as easy as searching within a state, at least the Treasury Department provides leads on where to look. Here is the list of suggestions:
- Treasury Hunt: Unclaimed U.S. Securities and Payments
- HUD/FHA Mortgage Insurance Refunds
- Credit Union Unclaimed Shares
- National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
- U.S. Courts: Unclaimed Funds in Bankruptcy
Did I miss covering anything about missing money? Please post a comment and let me know.