While millions of people are sitting unemployed and struggling with their mortgage payments piles of Americans' missing money are still sitting unclaimed in the various US State Treasuries. The current national total languishing in the various State Treasuries amounts to roughly $33 billion according to the Bureau of Unclaimed Money.
The reason for the high amount of missing money is very simple: the general public simply doesn't know about the presence of unclaimed government money. It's actually quite normal for people to lose track of their finances given the ever-increasing pace of modern life. A surprising number of Americans that have been reunited with their lost funds were befuddled by the fact that they were going through life not knowing they had thousands of crucial cash in their name sitting in the Bureau of Unclaimed Money.
Missing and unclaimed money can come from uncollected final paychecks, dividends on old stocks and bonds, forgotten savings accounts or bank accounts or contents of safe deposit boxes belonging to the deceased. Lost assets can also come from stimulus checks that have been unclaimed or errors in the mailing address or personal information. Such is the case for a quarter of a million newlyweds whose new last names didn't match their SSS number. According to a recent news report, an IRS glitch caused the omission of scores of women who took on their husbands' last name from the list of people who qualify for tax stimulus checks. Unclaimed funds also result from people moving to a new place and neglecting to notify banks, insurance companies and businesses about their change of address.
This can result in lost mail, ergo missing money.
The National Unclaimed Property Law requires the IRS, banks, businesses and financial establishments to hand over lost assets to the Treasury as government unclaimed money after a specified dormancy period of 2-5 years depending on the asset. The Bureau of Unclaimed Money in the different States have the responsibility of putting the funds in safekeeping and most States do so in perpetuity- until an heir or proper beneficiary comes to file a claim. They are also tasked to locate and inform the rightful owners about their missing money. Lack of manpower or a known address prevents the government from reuniting everyone with their unclaimed funds however and this is why the various unclaimed money piles across the U.S. get bigger every year.
Another reason not enough people are finding their missing money is they lack the knowledge on how to do a proper unclaimed money search. A lot of potential recipients of state unclaimed funds fall trap to scammers that promise to find unclaimed property money for them 'for a fee'. Others get lost in the sheer number of unclaimed money sites scattered throughout the internet, more often than not encountering dead ends. It's quite tricky to search the database of the Bureau of Unclaimed Money in every State you may have lived in, so knowing how and when and where to search is important.
The author of this story is the unclaimed and missing money expert Russ Johnson who has been locating lost or missing money being held in unclaimed money bureaus since 1997. His site, http://www.unclaimedmoney.net allows you to search for unclaimed money being held in government bureaus across the country.
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