I hear that sentence all the time.
You probably don’t believe you could possibly have ended up walking away from your own money.
But the numbers don’t lie. Just look at the statistics.
In Canada, over $300,000,000 from abandoned bank accounts is being held by the Bank of Canada waiting for the rightful owners to make their claim.
As if that weren’t an impressive enough number, in the United States, the amount unclaimed being held by the Financial Management Service on behalf of 92 US federal agencies as of the end of June 2008 is a staggering $360,124,391.99.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, as of 2008, state governments in the United States were holding $32.877 BILLION for 117,000,000 accounts.
The current population of the US is about 305,000,000 people. Of course, some people have more than one account, and some of the accounts are held by businesses. Nonetheless, that still means that a very substantial proportion of US citizens have not received money to which they are entitled.
And the sum is growing every year. In 2006, $4.686 billion was received from business accounts where contact had been lost with the owners.
This has all been reported in the press – even on Oprah – but it’s so hard to believe that you could have left money on the table and walked away that you’ve probably never checked whether some of that huge amount of money is yours.
In these hard economic times, you owe it to yourself to check.
Even if it’s time consuming and tedious, the odds are EXCELLENT that some of those billions of dollars are yours.
Of course it’s not quite as simple as looking your name up on a list.
Unfortunately, there are many lists.
- Each state keeps track of its own records (that’s 50 right there)
- Each federal agency that collects and disburses money to citizens has its own records (92 more)
- Sometimes the money is held in the state where you once lived
- Sometimes it’s in the home state of the company who collected your money
- Some of the money is held by counties, cities, associations and more
- Some of the money is held abroad
Americans move about once every five years. That means that an average 40-year-old American has probably lived at 8 addresses. Is it any wonder that it’s so hard for your money to catch up with you?
On top of that, if you have a fairly common name, it’s not so easy to figure out whether a particular account belongs to you or to someone else with the same name.
So here’s the deal. My goal is to raise money for charity. If you find money for yourself or your business through this site, please donate part of your windfall to a charity of your choice and then let me know. That’s my reward. Your reward is not only your windfall, but a tax receipt from the charity and the gratification that comes with supporting a cause you believe in.
And if you’d like to contribute a small amount to my Paypal account to help me keep this site going, I would certainly appreciate it.