STATES may secretly owe you money, checks, property, and other valuable items – that have ended up in the US’ largest lost property box.
Have you ever misplaced, lost, or never received something? Because your local authority could be holding onto items that belong to you amounting up to thousands of dollars.
Your state could be holding onto your lost belongings that add up to thousands of dollars
When a business of government office cannot locate the rightful owner after a certain period of time, items are sent to a state-run unclaimed property office.
This includes valuables such as refunds or cash settlements, a money order, a dormant bank account, wages, a dividend or stocks and bonds, and insurance benefits.
As well as utility deposits, an uncashed cashier’s check, the contents of an abandoned safe deposit box, jewelry, and coins – this treasure trove of misplaced items is guarded by the state office until their owner claims them.
New York is in possession of over a whopping $16.5 billion in misplaced valuables, while California is close behind and is left with $10.2 billion in lost property.
The sunshine state Florida returned a mammoth $328 million to claimants last year – so it’s certainly worth checking.
In 2019, the average claim paid was $1,780, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
So how can you check if you have any lost property lying around?
If you head to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website, you can search for unclaimed property by each state, as well as across the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Most states allow claims to be submitted online or via mailCredit: Getty
The two-minute task requires you to select your state of province on Unclaimed.org which is then redirected to the chosen states individual unclaimed property page.
If you then enter some brief contact information, you can delve deep into your forgotten assets that may have gone astray.
And if you think your owed some cash, you can search through 39 states at once on MissingMoney.com, or 25 and the District of Columbia on FindMyFunds.com.
You can then lodge a claim with your state to get your belongings back.
Depending on which state you live in, claims can be submitted online or via mail, and require some proof of identification.
That could be a copy of your photo ID, a copy of your Social Security card, your tax identification number, or any documentation proving that it is your missing property.
But be careful not to leave your mislaid personal effects too long, as some states do auction off property and hold the proceeds instead.
Applications can take up to 90 days to be processed, according to the New York State Comptroller – while Californian fiscal departments say it could take double that, and take 180 days to return property.
Property of deceased relatives can also be claimed – but be aware documentation such as a death certificate, a will, and documents proving your relationship may be required.