The total unclaimed money count across the country is in the multi-billions. According to reliable reports, over 1 million claims were paid out by U.S. states, amounting to $1.2 billion in the last financial year only. The unclaimed money database lists millions of dollars in unclaimed money, property, accounts, and assets from all 50 states, that could belong to you. “Unclaimed property laws have been around since at least the 1940s, but have become much broader and more enforced in the last 15 years,” the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) says on its website, which represents the state-level programs.
The State of New York alone is currently holding billions of dollars in unclaimed money. The unclaimed money experts have advised that a serious search should be conducted for unclaimed property every few years. The average amount unclaimed last year was $900.
Apart from the unclaimed money and properties, savings bonds have also been one of the largest contributors of unclaimed monies in U.S. About half-billion dollars in U.S. savings bonds is waiting to be claimed by Massachusetts residents alone. The bonds were bought decades ago, but never paid out to the owners. The federal government is holding on to them, saying it doesn’t have the resources to track down the people who should be paid. In many cases, the claimants are now heirs of the original buyers.
State Treasurer, Tim Cahill, believes there are thousands of people in Massachusetts who are entitled to a share of the $17 billion in unclaimed savings bonds. “It could be up to $500 million dollars,” Cahill said. “That’s a lot of money.” The amounts are staggering. In addition to $480 million owed to Massachusetts residents, the National Association of State Treasurers estimates another $54 million in unclaimed bonds belong to people in New Hampshire. Rhode Islanders may be owed another $79 million.
Many bonds were bought by middle-class Americans who, starting in 1941, were encouraged to do their patriotic duty to loan money to the government and support the war effort. Others bought them as a safe investment. The program was immensely successful in collecting money, but clearly not as much effort was put into returning it.
In addition to the savings bonds, unclaimed lottery winnings have also risen highly, but a lot of people are coming forward to claim their unclaimed lottery money.