Say “Hi” to Lost Money

Each year, billions of dollars in “lost” or “unclaimed” cash, stocks, business checks and other assets are transferred to state governments by financial institutions, corporations, and insurance companies who have lost contact with the account owner. Many state laws require these “holders” of unclaimed property to annually report and deliver property to the state if there has been no activity on the account or contact with the owner for a specified period of time (generally three years).

Most of this money remains untouched in state government bank accounts for years until it is claimed by the original owner. Since contact with the owner has been lost, the original owner likely doesn’t know the money is there.

This can happen when the owner forgets the account exists or moves and does not leave a forwarding address. In some cases, the owner dies with heirs who have no knowledge of the property.

The most common types of unclaimed property are:

  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed cashier’s checks and money orders
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Matured or terminated insurance policies
  • Estates
  • Mineral interests and royalty payments
  • Trust funds and escrow accounts
  • Utility account deposits

Explore the Data

Searching the government websites for lost money can be slow and cumbersome so I downloaded the state data, first for Hawaii, then for California and analyzed it on my own.

I found a lot of interesting data and thought I could summarize it in a better way than how the state provides the data, so I setup this website. Hopefully you find the data useful and can help the rightful owners can get their money back!