Roughly $4 billion in unclaimed funds are out there for the taking, but many don't know it's out there. To see if you're entitled to a piece of that pie, we did the research for you and put together a list of where to look.
Margaret Slater recently discovered a good chunk of change.
"$1,932. It's a lot to me, I'm retired," Slater told us.
But where is this money coming from? Martha Wasp with the Texas Comptroller's Office said, "Any insurance of checks -- whether it's due to beneficiaries, uncashed checks, vendors -- you could be owed and not even realize it."
Financial institutions, businesses and government entities must report any personal property they're holding, that has been abandoned or unclaimed. If you're entitled to it, there are various ways to place a claim.
"We recommend that people go to ClaimItTexas.org to search to see if they have any unclaimed property," Wasp said.
Also, MissingMoney.com and Unclaimed.org are two other sites you can use to search databases outside of Texas -- but watch out for sites that charge you to retrieve lost property.
Wasp said, "There are things in Texas called air finders. They are able to take a 10% fee and they have to be licensed in the state of Texas in order to do that."
Sites like UnclaimedMoney.com charge subscription fees that range from $11 to $129.
"It is always free to go through us, which is the comptroller's office," according to Wasp.
Tony Davison did some searching of his own and made a discovery.
"My father, who is deceased, his name came up on the list," Davison explained.
From stocks that were never cashed, he could be legally entitled to that money.
"Five figures. They didn't quite say, but we're trying to figure out what things are worth," Davison added.
Don't stop there -- there are other resources you should be looking into.
The Texas Department of Insurance can help you locate missing life insurance policies here.
If you had accounts with banks or financial institutions that failed, the FDIC website has information on those unclaimed funds.
Did you have a FHA-insured mortgage? You may be eligible for a refund, which can be researched here.
And lastly, The National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits can help you track down any forgotten 401-K plans you might have left behind with a former employer by visiting their website.
Bottom line -- millions of dollars go unclaimed and that information is constantly being updated online. Check these databases at least once a year.
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