How can I find lost money?
January 19, 2006 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Finding lost money filter. I was the executor for my Dads estate. The bulk of the work was done long ago, but I'm getting contacted by a company that says they know about some money still in his name. What can I do to find these funds myself?
posted by what-i-found to Work & Money (42 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Without more information it will be somewhat difficult to help. What the nature and amount of the money we are talking about? What does this company do and why do they claim to know about this money? If you suspect something is wrong, perhaps you can contact your State Attorney Office information service to see if this isn't a common scam (if the company is Nigerian and their letter starts with "I'M THE FORMER NIGERIAN MINISTER OF NAIVE FOREIGNERS' FUNDS AND IT CAME TO MY ATTENTION THAT..." you may want to forget the whole thing).
posted by nkyad at 11:56 AM on January 19, 2006

Response by poster: Nah, it's not Nigeria. It's a company that does this full time I guess. They are saying they have found a specific amount of money in his name that's gone unclaimed. I'm guessing it's stocks or something like that, but I don't know and they aren't going to tell me till I sign away their 35% cut. Before I do that I want to see if there is more I can do myself.
posted by what-i-found at 12:08 PM on January 19, 2006

Best answer: You don't say in your profile where you are, but if you're in the US many states have a website with just this information on-line. The Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse may be able to help.
posted by Floydd at 12:08 PM on January 19, 2006

I got $130 here from the State of Texas. It was an old security deposit I left with a power company 10 years ago. If you're in the U.S., check your local state comptroller's office to see if they have a similar search. Since it's public record this kind of agency might be where that company is getting the listings from.
posted by rolypolyman at 12:24 PM on January 19, 2006

Also thumbs-up to Floydd's link.
posted by rolypolyman at 12:30 PM on January 19, 2006

I know in Florida the state would make an effort to contact everyone once a year who had 'zombie' bank accounts, but a huge amount remained unclaimed. There's an article about it here but the only really worthwhile link is, which Floydd already provided.

I imagine you can find this yourself if you try; companies working on spec like that aren't going to have a lot of money tied up in per-account costs and they're presumably working off public records exclusively. The Florida website even talks about how you buy the records, presumably to track down people like you...
posted by phearlez at 12:43 PM on January 19, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, Floydd, great link...didn't find anything for Dad, but my husband will be getting $200.00. (Yeh!)
Since these sites diddn't pan out I'm back to thinking it could be stocks....any ideas on how to look for those?
posted by what-i-found at 12:56 PM on January 19, 2006

Hey, Floydd, there's some money for my family (not me, sadly) at that link! Awesome! Thanks!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

You both owe me a beer.

The only states in the Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse database are:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If your dad had business in a state not listed above, you'll have to search each state individually:

Indiana (With "Buck, the Money Dog!")
New York
Rhode Island
and theres a NEW Mexico now!
posted by Floydd at 1:41 PM on January 19, 2006

Response by poster: He lived his entire life in Washington State, but I'm not finding anything here. I'll go down your list. If this works I'll owe you more than a beer!
posted by what-i-found at 1:46 PM on January 19, 2006

Oh, and
posted by Floydd at 1:46 PM on January 19, 2006

Response by poster: Dang, I was hoping it was land in Hawaii...but no such luck.
Anybody ever dealt with these sort of companies? Any luck getting that rate down?
posted by what-i-found at 2:09 PM on January 19, 2006

Here's another database that might help, The National Unclaimed Property Database. (reg. required)

Me? I'm finding nothing....
posted by Floydd at 2:20 PM on January 19, 2006

Wow, I owe you a beer too Floydd (or hell, a case). Thanks!

BTW, what-i-found: I am in WA state and found stock, so they track at least some of that. It was from an old job I'd never converted after the company was purchased.
posted by SpookyFish at 2:22 PM on January 19, 2006

Holy Moly! I get $100. Great link Floydd!
posted by chiababe at 2:24 PM on January 19, 2006

Man, I get nothing. Strange how I feel almost gipped by that!
posted by metaculpa at 3:17 PM on January 19, 2006

Holy crap. Verizon, of all people, owes me money. How cool is that?
posted by TeamBilly at 3:21 PM on January 19, 2006

Best answer to Floydd on the real. Thanks, man.
posted by youarenothere at 3:50 PM on January 19, 2006

Floydd: Those links would make an excellent FPP. I'd love to see a running total of reclaimed MeFi cash.
posted by blag at 3:54 PM on January 19, 2006

Response by poster: Well, I still don't have any leads on Dads money, but I have found $600.00 it's all good. :-))
Still looking....but Floydd is my inspiration. Thanks!
posted by what-i-found at 4:13 PM on January 19, 2006

Thanks Floydd, and what-i-found, for the question. Didn't find anything for myself, but did find something over $50 for my mother, and one for an old friend as well.
posted by Phynix at 4:26 PM on January 19, 2006

Does anyone know if there is anything like this for the UK? I'm pretty sure I abandoned a bank account and possibly a rental deposit there when my school term ended, and I've often wondered if the bank account in particular has grown to some huge and useful amount.
posted by anastasiav at 4:45 PM on January 19, 2006

Wowsers Floyd - I found $3500. I owe you more than a beer - I owe you hookers and blow.
posted by rks404 at 4:59 PM on January 19, 2006

Floydd, I don't owe you a drink but my grandmother's estate, my mom's uncle, dad's sister, brother, sister-in-law and possibly 4 coworkers do. Thanks!
posted by jaimystery at 5:04 PM on January 19, 2006

Wow - nothing for me but my brother turned up - he'd better give me half....
posted by jalexei at 5:08 PM on January 19, 2006

Here is the one for anybody else who lives in Victoria, Australia. Nothing there for me; maybe you'll have better luck.
posted by flabdablet at 7:40 PM on January 19, 2006

Holy cow Floydd, I just recovered 200-300 dollars!
posted by speedo at 8:11 PM on January 19, 2006

Floyd obviously wins `Hero of Ask.Me' status for the month!
posted by tomble at 9:01 PM on January 19, 2006

Wowzah. I just found $1002.40 for me and $300.00 for Mrs. Tacos.

I owe you a beer, indeed.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:22 PM on January 19, 2006

Thanks, the New Zealand version just gave my mum nearly $500 NZ. Never would have known such a thing existed.
posted by scodger at 1:09 AM on January 20, 2006

Someones should buy Floydd a nice gift. Um, or Matt. Who's the most responsible for these splendiferous windfalls?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:11 AM on January 20, 2006

...and I found $67. Cool.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2006

$300 from the state of Michigan! Kick ass.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:44 PM on January 20, 2006

Floydd, you are so cool. A friend of mine is now $90 richer.
Wish all my friends had unusual names...
posted by niloticus at 3:10 PM on January 20, 2006

My moms looks to be getting $100+. Thanks MeFi!
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:09 AM on January 21, 2006

I found about $1000 for my mom in New York - thanks Floydd! Is the extra d for dynamite?
posted by slmorri at 8:43 AM on January 23, 2006

Add another $100+ for my uncle's estate. Thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 5:48 PM on January 23, 2006

Wow! Looks like I've got at least a 12 pack coming!
AND hookers and blow!! Sweet!!!
(Seriously, this thread makes smile down to my toes.)
posted by Floydd at 9:40 AM on January 24, 2006

Man, I get nothing. Strange how I feel almost gipped by that!
posted by metaculpa at 3:17 PM PST on January 19 [!]

That is, until I looked in CA. Floydd, you rock the casbah!

posted by metaculpa at 2:34 PM on January 26, 2006

I also found some moola for me (I expect its small, but nonetheless fun) and quite a bunch for a whole passel of relatives. Floydd - you are the man !
posted by AuntLisa at 2:47 PM on January 27, 2006

updating: $2500 for my grandmother, $50 for my stepdad, $100 for my brother, $575 for my aunt. My uncle also had a 'large' amount but hasn't reported back (I think he's afraid I'll ask for a cut)
Floydd, I think your 12 pack has just been upgraded :)
posted by jaimystery at 6:07 AM on January 30, 2006

Thanks for linking this in MeTa yesterday, floydd - I found some unclaimed funds for a relative. Very nice!
posted by Melinika at 6:47 AM on May 18, 2006

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