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Unclaimed Funds: Where to find your hidden treasure

Did you know that the Government may owe money to you or a friend or family member? According to the Ohio Department of Commerce's Unclaimed Funds Division, unclaimed funds is defined to be "any financial asset for which an owner has not generated activity for an extended period of time." This includes:

  • Savings deposits
  • Checking deposits
  • Certificate of Deposit Accounts
  • Payroll – Wages, Bonuses, or Commissions
  • Stocks and Bonds – Uncashed Dividends, Interest Checks, Principal
  • Insurance Proceeds
  • Credit Balances
  • Customer Deposits
  • Travelers Checks
  • Money Orders
  • Overpaid Fees or Taxes
  • Other Intangible Interests or Benefits

The Ohio Department of Commerce has over 2.6 million accounts worth over $700 million in its custody. To see if you or someone you know has any unclaimed funds, please visit their website at: www.com.state.oh.us.

All 50 states have Unclaimed Funds Departments. If you or someone you know has ever lived in another state, visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website at: www.missingmoney.com. You can enter a name and check all states. Searches are free of charge and updated monthly.

Other Places to Look for Unclaimed Funds

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Currently the IRS is seeking over 80,000 taxpayers whose income tax refund checks could not be delivered in 2005. As soon as those taxpayers update or correct their addresses with the IRS, a refund check can be reissued. These refunds total approximately $73 million. If you were due a refund and didn't receive it, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov. You will need your Social Security Number, your Filing Status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow/er) and your expected refund amount.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

The FDIC provides deposit insurance to financial institutions and their depositors. If a financial institution is closed by a regulatory agency, the FDIC is appointed as Receiver and is responsible for paying insured deposits and liquidating all assets. Visit the website at: www.2.fdic.gov/funds/index.asp if you think you or someone you know may have such funds.

The FDIC database contains unclaimed funds for certain unclaimed insured deposits or for dividend checks issued that were never cashed. As receiverships are terminated, unclaimed insured funds can no longer be claimed and the data is removed from the website.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

The PBGC protects the retirement incomes of more than 40 million U.S. workers in more than 30,000 defined benefit pension plans. A defined benefit plan provides a specified monthly benefit at retirement. Congress created the PBGC in 1974, and the Pension Search Program was created in 1994. This program locates people who are owed benefits from fully funded, PBGC-insured defined benefit pension plans that end.

If you believe you or someone you know is owed a benefit, e-mail PBGC at missing@pbgc.gov or visit the website at: www.pbgc.gov.