Re-claiming Unclaimed Property


'Unclaimed Property' sites are another of the ways that internet-savvy people make money off of the naive. The fact is, every state has an unclaimed property section, and they usually try to make it easy for you to make a claim. Sharon uses the fancy term 'escheat funds' to describe the states' duty to hold these until they are claimed. I guess as an accountant, she has to know how to disperse 'dead funds' and get them off the books.

If you're a business, you maintain an 'accounts payable' department that is responsible for paying off your bills and liabilities. In the event that the 'payee' can't be found (for instance, they moved leaving no forwarding address), state law doesn't allow that business to simply 'keep it'. After a certain interval, the funds are declared 'escheat' and turned over to the state until they are claimed. Another area of 'escheat funds' that is often overlooked is Payroll. Maybe you can't conceive of not cashing a paycheck, but it does happen, particularly if a final paycheck is a small adjustment, say under ten dollars; it often gets set aside and never cashed.

Here's a list of state 'unclaimed property' sites:

As I assembled the above list, I rely on my knowledge of domain names to help me spot the 'official' government sites. These have domain names like '' and ''. It's surprising to me how a few states throw away that 'recognizable respectability' by sending folks to '' and other similar sounding 'flim flam' names....



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