Unclaimed properties are inactive properties that are taken over by the state until the owner claims it. You’ve possibly heard about it before, but maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper. Who knows, you might be the owner of properties that are waiting for you to claim them! You should figure out what these properties are and how they work. More importantly, you should know how you can access them. These properties are yours, after all! This article will be your guide.
Knowing What Unclaimed Properties Are and Finding Them
Did you know that there are two forms of unclaimed property? Yes, that’s true! Those two forms are tangible and intangible properties. These properties can remain inactive for a certain period of time after they are acquired by businesses or financial agencies. This period of inactivity is called the dormancy period. This applies for both tangible and intangible properties that were not claimed. So, what happens after the period of inactivity? Well, the state takes over the property until the owner comes along. Unfortunately, there isn’t a federal website to locate these properties. We will be telling you how you can find these properties later on in the article, but let’s focus on the types of unclaimed properties. Tangible properties are things you can touch, like jewelry or luxury goods. On the other hand, intangible properties include deposit certificates, stocks, refunds, security deposits, and more.
If you want to look for these properties, then you need to find their source. You can find state databases that allow you to look for unclaimed properties for free! Each state works differently, though, so you should find out how you can claim these properties from your state. Other than looking through state databases, you can try other ways to look for these properties, like through: investments and banking, previous employers, and insurance refunds. Other sources would be tax refunds from the IRS and assets from foreign governments.
Investments and Banking
Unclaimed properties come from many sources, but four popular ones are bank and credit union failures, funds that the SEC claims, and matured savings bonds. Let’s take a look at how you can access your unclaimed properties from these sources. With credit union failures, you can find unclaimed funds from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). As for bank failures, you can look through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for more information. Furthermore, you might have savings bonds that have already matured and stopped earning interest, which could lead to unclaimed funds. You can find out through the TreasuryHunt.gov website. Finally, you can find funds from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the SEC website. These claims come from enforcement cases where a business or individual owes money to its investors.
Pensions from previous employers are a source of these kinds of properties. This could mean that you have pensions that you have not claimed yet. If the business is no longer operating or ends a defined pension plan, then the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) can help you out. As for wages that you have not received yet, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) could offer assistance. They will be able to help you claim these properties from your old boss without having to go back to your old office. The best place to start is on the DOL website to find out if you have any unclaimed money from your previous employer. If your employer did not follow labor laws, then the DOL can help you get any back wages that they owe you.
There are two popular kinds of insurance refunds that you can claim, which are
- VA insurance refunds
- FHA insurance refunds
With FHA-insurance refunds, the HUD issues these refunds since the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a part of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you want to find out whether you have any FHA refunds, then the HUD database is the way to go!
Furthermore, you can consider the United States Department of Veterans Affair (VA) database to look for these kinds of properties. You might be able to find unclaimed insurance refunds just waiting for you. However, you should know that the VA database does not inform the public of all unclaimed funds. The exceptions are from 1965 until now for:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
Tax Refunds From The IRS
You can find out through the IRS website whether you have tax refunds or not. If you think the IRS owes you a tax refund, then you should refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for more information. Taxes don’t need to be stressful. In fact, in instances like this, you may actually be due funds if you file your taxes! That is why during tax time you want to make sure you file. You may be in for a pleasant surprise if you find out there are refunds waiting for you to get.
There is a website available from the United States Department of Treasury that you can go to if you think you are due unclaimed funds from foreign governments. So if you are someone that travels often, this may be able to provide some peace of mind. That’s because in instances where you are due some unclaimed properties internationally, you may not be out of luck.
Now that you know what these properties are and how they work, you should take this as a lesson to remain in control of your finances. You should do your best to constantly update your contact info, especially your address. If you have unclaimed property, you might be able to claim them now, even though they were inactive for a long time. You should keep in mind that these properties are rightfully yours, and you can definitely claim them! There are different sources of these properties, so make sure to explore your options, from your old boss to tax refunds from the IRS!