Forgotten Funds: Check For Unclaimed Cash

Hey, you could cash in on your lunch hour today.

By Megan McGrath
|  Friday, Jan 29, 2010  |  Updated 2:18 PM EDT
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Forgotten Funds: Check For Unclaimed Cash

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Better get what's rightfully yours!

There may be a check with your name on it, just waiting to be claimed.

What could the cash be from? Unclaimed money and property, refund checks that weren't cashed, money from bank accounts that weren't closed out properly and items in abandoned safety deposit boxes.

There are tens of thousands of people in the tri-state region who are owed cash, jewelery or other property and have absolutely no idea.

Pennsylvania, for example, has over $1.5 billion in unclaimed property, according to Treasurer Rob McCord. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to search the free unclaimed property database. They have about a one in ten chance of finding property in their name,” said McCord.

Joe Stuhr from Philadelphia found $275 from PGW last year in the unclaimed fund. Today, he emailed to say he found money for his wife and brother-in-law.

And no matter where you live, you should search the Delaware database. The state is unique because it also has something called "unknown owner" property. That comes from all the companies that incorporate in Delaware. When they can't track down people, the money (or often stocks) owed gets turned over to the state. Last year, an heir cashed in on $2 million worth of Caterpillar stock they didn't even know was rightfully theirs. In the last 15 years, Delaware has collected more than $2.5 billion and paid out only a fraction of that-- $105 million-- because of all the unknown owner property.

To see if you have any unclaimed property or funds, search the Web sites below:

To search the Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property Database: Click Here

To search the New Jersey Unclaimed Property Database: Click Here

To search the Delaware Unclaimed Property Database: Click Here

For other states:  Click Here

A lot of people tend to think of cash when they hear about unclaimed property. Take a trip inside Pennsylvania's Vault with Tracy Davidson to see what else is waiting to be claimed:

 

Oh, and if you do find some cash, we'd love to hear about your success story.  Send us an e-mail and let us know how much you got!

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