If you’ve ever searched your coat pocket or couch cushions for a crumpled up five-dollar bill, then you know how satisfying it can be to find something. But do you know there is a lot of money out there — and it could belong to you — waiting to be claimed?
1. Check Online
Unlike in the past, when you needed to visit your bank to deposit a physical check or withdraw cash from your account, these days you can do most things on your own. You can have your paycheck deposited directly into a checking account, and you can make purchases with a debit card that draws from the same account.
But did you know that 1 in 10 Americans have lost money floating around somewhere? It’s called unclaimed property and it comes from forgotten savings accounts, lost paychecks, stocks or bonds, security deposits and customer overpayments. It’s often turned over by businesses and organizations that haven’t had contact with the owner for a year or more. You can find out if you’re missing some of this money by checking online. It’s free to do, and you’ll find the process is fairly straightforward. Just be aware of scammers who may be trying to take your money. And remember to always follow your bank’s policies and regulations.
3. Contact the State
It’s no secret that a lot of money goes to waste each year. The good news is that it can be recovered. This is especially true when it comes to lost or unclaimed funds like bank accounts, pensions, U.S. Savings Bonds and even stocks. It’s a complicated process, but there are a few things you can do to find your missing money or help a loved one reclaim theirs.
Using a state’s searchable database is the best way to go. You can also do some detective work and contact the company, organization or agency that lost your money. You may be surprised at what you learn when you use the right tools. Just be sure to do your homework and be wary of unscrupulous charlatans who offer a plethora of free services.
4. Contact Your Lawyer
Depending on the nature of your problem, you may need to contact your lawyer. Oftentimes, this can be as simple as a single call or a letter. You can even meet with your lawyer face-to-face and discuss the issue at hand. In this way, you can get clarity on the issue and resolve it without having to file a lawsuit.
Fortunately, there are many ways to find out how to recover my lost funds. First, look for your name in newspapers ads that list owners of unclaimed property. This is a good start, but you may also need to search other sources for your assets. For example, you can use the Lawyers’ Fund in most states to recover money that was stolen from your account by an attorney who acted dishonestly in the course of representing you. These funds are meant to compensate clients who were cheated out of their hard-earned assets. They do not require payment from the person who stole the funds.