The unclaimed the unclaimed

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Note: Any prize money that is unclaimed within 180 days after the draw date will go to benefit Missouri public education.

A Rhode Island story showing thousands are owed life insurance. 104 year old Harriet Landesberg recently found out she was the beneficiary of an old life insurance policy that was never paid out. A nice $5000 that will come in handy. The small state has $20 million of unclaimed life insurance on its books.
A WRIS report highlights over $1 Billion in assets that is waiting to be claimed in the state of Virginia . One interesting remark reveals that many people are sceptics. They just don't believe that the government would give people money back instead of trying to take it.
Unredeemed Savings bonds - ABC reveals how over $16 billion is unclaimed in old savings bonds, with the average amount around $1000. The US government used to heavily promote savings bonds to the public with patriotic ads during the sixties and seventies. They often have long maturity dates of 20-30 years, which makes them easy to forget or lose track of. And many holders passed away before the bonds could be cashed in.
So it is well worth searching for the name of elderly relatives. Even a $50 savings bond could be worth over $500 today. The largest unredeemed bonds stand at several million dollars !!
This story from Forbes highlights the number of old life insurancy policies that have not been claimed, averaging out at $2000 per person. The report mentions that it is the state where the policy was bought that will hold the records, not where a policy holder lives or dies. This is why it is important to use a unified service to track down lost money, that compiles records all across the US.
Almost a billion dollars in unclaimed tax refunds is about to expire. Time is running out to claimed tax refunds from 2009. After April 15, any remaining refunds due will become property of the US treasury.
This report from Chicago shows just how easy it is for property to get turned over to the state. Ed White from Illinois returned from vacation to discover 3 letters from his bank, which administered some stocks in Kelloggs. The first letter had asked him to verify his address. The last letter contained a quarterly statement which revealed the stocks had disappeared from his account. Inspections revealed that shares worth over $3000 had been handed over to the states unclaimed property division due to 'inactivity'. Mr White had previously felt no need to deal with the bank regarding these stocks, as all dividends were set to automatically reinvest for the long term. He eventually got the cash returned after making a claim, but the news story shows how easily this can happen.

Wisconsin kicked of a public campaign to try and re-unite state residents with their missing money. Many millions of dollars are currently sitting unused in the states bank accounts. Officials were recently at Miller Park in Milwaukee to kick off a travelling roadshow. Computers and claim forms were made available to help search for any funds that residents could possibly claim. One Wisconsin man is pretty popular with several lucky strangers, after re-uniting them with lost money on the unclaimed property database. Good samaritan Jay Wells was reported as saying "I'd rather people have the money, than the state"
MSN news has a nice article on how to retrieve missing assets . It turns out that many people remember that they have checks that they never cashed, or that is sitting in old mailboxes or safe deposit boxes. But it seems like too much hassle to actually make a point of tracking them down. This may have been true in the past, but with online databases it is now as simple as making a claim to get any funds reunited.
Remember to check these old lottery tickets - this story is a reminder of how much you could lose, with several multi-million powerball wins that could have been claimed .. Unclaimed lottery cash is returned to the overall prize fund, if a winner doesn't come forward within 6 months.

This news reporter has an interesting article on the step to take to search for missing money, including the usual steps of trawling through individual state databases and treasurers offices. It's far easier to use a website that collates all the information ina national database, althou there are warnings against some unscrupulous sites that take high charges, especially if the amounts found owing to you are small. We recommend the UnclaimedCash database listed here, for very reasonable rates, and a free name search.

Unclaimed Assets are at an all-time high . This is a big concern for some state and treasury officials, especially during tough times when millions of dollars in extra cash in peoples voters could stimulate the economy.
Many local governments have commenced measures to make people more aware of the situation, including newspaper listings and social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. However, many citizens remain unaware that lost funds can be claimed, even many years later.
With complete online databases now available, tracking down lost money is now easier than ever. Simply search the databases for your name and missing funds could be on their way to you shortly. Even if you have checked at some point in the past, remember that the databases are constantly being updated.
Financial advisors recommend that you check for your name at least once a year.

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