Find your unclaimed money

December 31, 2008 3:48:04 PM PST
You are probably not going to get rich finding money under the sofa or maybe even in a coat pocket, but there could be a chunk of change waiting for you; you just have to claim it. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Many government agencies have websites that easily let you search for money that's owed to you. Finding money that's owed to you is easy to do and it's free.

At the Texas Comptroller's website, you can search for unclaimed property funds. The money can be anything from inactive bank accounts to old security deposits, phone companies and even retailers like Wal-Mart. The names and addresses are tied to each claim.

We stopped at Starbucks to see how easy it was to find someone some money.

"This is interesting. I never knew they had it online. Put in a name and hit a button. That's fun," said Darilyn Krieger.

Krieger searched her name and didn't have any luck, but when she entered her mom's name.

"Eight cents. Oh!" said Krieger.

Krieger's mom isn't going to get rich off eight cents, but she had fun searching.

Over at Discovery Green, we searched several names including Christina Carabine.

"No property owed to you. I didn't think there was any money out there owed to me," said Carabine.

At Best Buy, we invited Faith Hawkings to do some searching. She didn't find any money for herself, but when she searched her mom's name, she found $142 from an inactive bank account in Dallas. She immediately called her mom.

"We plugged your name into the computer system and you have a $142 dollars. OK, you have to calm down. Yes $142," said Hawkings to her mother on the line. "She wants to know what she has to do to get it."

If you do find money, you can print your unclaimed property form from the website, provide the proper documentation and mail it off. It could take 60 to 90 days to get a check.

Here are some links to get your started:

Texas State Comptroller's Office | Treasury Direct | Internal Revenue Service

If you don't have access to the internet, call 1-800-321-2274 and the state will do the searching for you.

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