Rebate Yourself—Find Missing Money


You or someone you know may have money or unclaimed property waiting to be claimed from a state government (or Canadian province). Millions of Americans (one in eight) have hundreds of dollars each waiting for them in state treasuries holding billions of dollars in unclaimed property and they are unaware of it. This money is from forgotten stocks and bonds, unclaimed dividends or uncanceled paychecks, annuities, forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, interest, insurance policies, wages, bonuses, travelers’ checks, utility and other deposits. There are no fees; it is legitimate, free, quick, and easy for you to search a public/government database from the privacy of your home or at the library. (Check with your tax preparer, attorney, police or librarian, and they will all tell you this is a legitimate and free undertaking. Show them this article.) Discover the possibilities and rewards. We give stories below and advice and tips to successfully navigate this process. Read and print this article. Share the information with others face-to-face, by email, phone, your seasonal letter or greeting cards, or by social media. Help other people find their “pot of gold.” Direct your friends to this website to read the article.

Many articles have been written about this topic. A recent supporting article by Sandra Block in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, September 2017, pp.11-12, is titled, “Track Down Your Forgotten Cash: States and government agencies are holding $40 billion. Is some of it yours?” Additional evidence on this topic, cited in a series of national publications, follows. The issue of unclaimed assets is a huge and important “problem” that has enormous financial consequences to many of us. Why should the government keep assets that may belong to you? Why is all this money sitting in state coffers gathering interest, which the state keeps? It’s because people don’t know about it or they think it’s a scam. It is NOT a scam–check it out with your state government or with others.

Rebate Yourself–Find Missing Money

Please send your family, friends, and business associates to our website to read this FREE “Missing Money” report, or copy/paste or print the article below and email or mail it to them so they too can search for missing money or unclaimed property. They will thank you for sharing it with them!

Do you have unclaimed assets in your name? Are You REALLY Sure?

You may have missing money or unclaimed property due you or someone you know. This represents “. . . cash or other assets considered lost or abandoned when an owner can’t be found.”[1]. Each state has laws instructing companies and financial institutions to turn any unclaimed funds over to them after a certain period of time, where they are responsible for finding the rightful owners.[2] In too many cases states are not finding the rightful owners. States today then hold on to your money to bolster their budgets; they passed legislation to limit people finding their treasure by no longer annually publishing names of people with unclaimed property, once required by law.[3] Citizens must be diligent in searching for and finding their rightful assets themselves—money hidden in plain sight.

missing money or unclaimed funds

State governments are holding $42 billion in unclaimed funds[4] (more if you include Canadian provinces). Over 38 million Americans (1 in 8) have money coming to them from state treasuries. “In 2011, in fact, 2.5 million claims were filed and $2.25 billion was returned to its rightful owners, an average of $892 per claim.”[5] According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators [NAUPA], “In 2015, unclaimed property agencies in the U.S. collected $7.8 billion and returned $3.2 billion to rightful owners.[6] Unless claimed, state agencies keep these funds indefinitely (except for safe deposit boxes).[7] If you live in Minnesota, the Department of Commerce is holding onto $606 million[8] in unclaimed assets for 57,000[9] people and businesses—you might be one of those rightful owners yourself.

Search your state for forgotten “Bank and Brokerage,” “Life Insurance,” “Retirement” and “Pension” accounts.[10]

The Federal government also holds unclaimed funds. “The IRS…has about $1 billion in unclaimed funds for people who failed to file a tax return. This year, the average unclaimed fund was $763. You have three years after the return should have been filed to claim your refund; after that, it belongs to Uncle Sam.”[11]

Where does this money come from? The money may be from dividends, annuities, utility and other security deposits. They may be from uncancelled paychecks, lost stock certificates, dormant bank accounts or safe deposit boxes. Perhaps you have money due you from an insurance policy, uncollected death benefits, or even an inheritance. Others may be from missing pensions, tax refunds, state coffers or lost savings bonds.[12] Do a free, quick and easy Internet search at home or at your local library. Get onto the two government websites below, then type in your name (start with only your last name to begin a broader search, then later type in a first name), names of your family members—and don’t forget maiden names—and friends and colleagues at work, your religious institution, groups you belong to, community associations, and businesses in your community. Also search for property for deceased people. Search not only your state, but other states as well. Multiple states (40 or more) can be searched at once with one click on[13] Both and[14] also allow you to search states individually. Search both sites, as money may be found on one and not the other.[15] Search numerous times a year. NOTE: Older people might have a better chance of uncovering unclaimed funds, since they’ve lived longer and had more frequent financial experiences in life then younger folks. Databases are continually updated.

Missing Money Stories/Examples: Twin brother John and I went to a recent funeral. The 94 year-old father of one of our parishioners died. His name was George. One of his daughters gave the eulogy. She talked about her dad and mom when they lived on Drew Avenue in Minneapolis. Her mom passed away a number of years earlier and her name was listed in the Remembrance card. I went home and typed in George and his last name. No unclaimed property or funds appeared for him, but his wife’s name was listed three times with her address on Drew Avenue. Listed were two companies with three accounts, with each account owing her over $100. I alerted this family and they later told me they received $3,000 after filing for those unclaimed funds. They couldn’t believe it and it cost them nothing. The filing is effortless and free. It is truly amazing! Like most people, they never thought they had money owed them.

Also check for businesses. I found money for my city, the City of Crystal, MN. I alerted their administrator and they wrote me a letter thanking me for helping them claim $800. This is not much money when you’re running a multimillion dollar organization, but it will purchase a few paper clips and other office supplies.

I have helped friends, relatives, parishioners, and members of associations that John and or I belong to, and found over $37,817 that was due them. [Some people voluntarily tell us the amount of money they received, but they are under no obligation to do so, and I never ask. Most people do not disclose if they found anything; that’s OK.] Finding money yourself is legitimate, free, and is not a scam. If you are skeptical, check with your attorney, tax preparer, local police department or favorite librarian. All of them will tell you this is a legitimate undertaking using legitimate government websites. You alone deal directly, privately and securely with your state. I don’t get involved in any way except to bring this information to your attention as I have done here. Being a retired teacher, I enjoy doing this as a public service, and I charge NOTHING–nada–no fees/costs whatsoever. I enjoy helping people. I guess I’m still a teacher at heart and now I’m teaching you. A few years ago I went through 459 names of parishioners in our Church Directory and found 12 names that I contacted that had $100 or more coming to them. (In Minnesota, if you have money due to you, the state lists it at either above $100 or below $100; no fixed dollar amount is shown. Other states, like South Carolina, will publicly report the asset to the nearest penny.) I also found over $1,000 for one parishioner and $435 for another. I found $4,000 for the sister of another parishioner who had insurance money waiting for her from an old forgotten business claim that she didn’t know she won after her business closed. I found money for two brothers of our former priest, as well as two of my doctors, a nurse, an optician and children of my attorney. The first parishioner thought it might be a scam and found out otherwise. Her parents died in Minneapolis many years ago and there was an insurance policy left to her and her sister. The insurance company couldn’t find any of them since they both moved, one to Colorado; by law after so many years, the company was required to turn the money over to the state. One received $1,000 that she was obligated to share with her sister. From her $500 she donated half to the Church and deposited the rest, $250.

The Internet lists services that claim they can help you find money—but they charge for their service. In most cases this is legitimate, after all, they are in business to make money. Be careful, though, since there are scammers out there preying on vulnerable people claiming they can help them find their money; they solicit a fee along with personal data.[16] However, you don’t have to go this route. You don’t have to pay someone a 10% or whatever fee and provide sensitive information. Claim it yourself typing in your name and a state and match it up with an address from their list. It’s not complicated, and you fill out a government form that you can download and print when you find property. You can also personally call or visit the state department that holds unclaimed funds, but first do some preliminary searching. Get familiar with the quick and easy process. If you find unclaimed money/property in Minnesota, you will deal with the Department of Commerce in St. Paul. In other states you deal with their Treasury Department. In any case, “The treasurer, comptroller, or auditor of each state maintains a list of abandoned property and runs an online database that anyone can search by name for free.”[17] Since we are a mobile society, start your search with the “all states and provinces” menu before you search individual states. Canadian provinces and other countries also hold unclaimed property. Search in those cities and states where you, your children, grandchildren, or other family members have lived, moved, worked or gone to school. Money might have been left in old bank accounts or rental or utility deposits. TIP: Search your old address books for names and addresses; save those address books—they are valuable assets. Be diligent in finding, recording and using middle names or initials. They can help refine your search, especially when searching common names like “Anderson,” “Smith,” etc. Search various spellings of your first and last name (i.e.: J., Joe, Joseph, etc.). Sometimes there might be money waiting for you with a misspelling of your first or last name (i.e., Joeseph). Try various entries. Try searching for your last name first, without a first name or citySurnames alone will give you the greatest number of hits. Then enter first names with your last name to narrow your search, and try to match it up with a familiar/known address. City searches will also help significantly in narrowing the field.

I received this email from a teacher friend who I was happy to help find missing money:

Thanks for the tip on the missing $$ issue. Turns out my mother (deceased) had unclaimed $$. With a bit of effort, the $$ showed up in the mail yesterday. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to do something wild and crazy, but it will cover a day’s worth of 24-hour care for my 98-year old dad. Jan (a District 281 Robbinsdale, MN teacher)

I remember in the early 1950s when I was very young. I was on a scavenger hunt and found an old bank passbook buried deep in my mom’s dresser drawer. The last date of interest added was sometime in the mid 1940s (in fact, the interest in those early days was actually pennedhand printed—into the bank book, and it was around 0.75% or so). I showed it to mom and said it might be valuable. For some reason she didn’t think it was worth pursuing, that it was too old and the money wouldn’t be there anymore. We took it to the bank anyway and, after being validated, they added years of interest to the principal. We walked out with over $600 and closed the account. So, you never know. Just remember, you don’t win contests unless you enter them.

Far too many people are skeptical and resigned to the fact that they might not have unclaimed funds, saying, “Oh! There’s no money out there for me. I’m smart. Why should there be missing money for my family or me? I know where all my money is!” But how do you really know unless you check into it? And it costs you nothing but a little time and effort (and it’s actually fun to do!).The state is happy to keep or hold on to your money as it generates interest for them and additional funding, and we all know government always seems to be in need of revenue.

If you find money and decide to spend it, you will be helping the economy. You might even decide to purchase and read our fun and award-winning memoir, Yorkville Twins,[18] which also makes great inexpensive gifts (see website Order page.). By the way, our book was considered that good to have been adopted for four consecutive years as required reading for college students in New York in classes called, “The Immigration Experience in New York City.”

Whether you grew up in a large city or a small town, you may find stories of our life growing up over 60 years ago interesting and revealing. It was a time for us when many apartments still had no toilet (they were in the hallway shared with other tenants) and the bathtub was in the kitchen. It was a time when news reports, politicians and leaders were believable in the public’s mind. It was a time when teachers, priests and the police were never challenged. It was a time before TV. Some people had telephones. Most didn’t. Radio programs which sparked the imagination of children and adults alike were the daily fare. How does your life story compare to our life story?

I’ve included copies of this “Missing Money” message with my Holiday/Birthday and other cards. I know I’ve helped others who I don’t even know—far beyond my immediate family and friends. Exercise that inner detective within you while having fun too. Build our economy. Play Santa! Help others including your family and bring smiles to their faces. Good luck and happy hunting! Joe & John Gindele, the Yorkville Twins.

[1] Bergal, Jenni. “Unclaimed property scam sweeping across the U.S: Run if you are asked to pay a fee or for personal data.” [Minneapolis] Star Tribune. (May 14, 2017).

[2] Chatzky, Jean. “Does your state owe you money?” AARP The Magazine, 57, no. 2b. (Feb./March 2014): 30.

[3] Bjorhus, Jennifer. “Unclaimed cash stashed by state: Total hit $606 million after Minnesota cut back its efforts to find assets rightful owners.” [Minneapolis] Star Tribune. (August 31, 2014): 1A.

[4] Chatzky, 30.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Bergal.

[7] Ibid.

[8] “State-By-State, Minnesota, Minneapolis.” USA Today. (September 2, 2014): 4A.

[9] Bjorhus, 1A.

[10] Braverman, Beth. “Money Saver: Finding Forgotten Cash.” AARP The Magazine, 62, no. 3C. (April/May 2019): 23.

[11] Block, Sandra. “Track down your forgotten cash: States and government agencies are holding $40 billion. Is some of it yours? Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. (September 2017): 12.

[12] “Takeaway: Free money! Follow the trail.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 73, no. 5. (May 2019): 72.

[13] Chatzky, 30.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Bergal.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Gindele, Joseph and John. Yorkville Twins: Growing Up in New York City in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Golden Valley [MN]: Golden Valley Publishing, LLC, Revised Edition, 2015. [320 pp.]. Yorkville Twins: Hilarious Adventures Growing Up in New York City, 1944-1962. First Ed., 2012. [328 pp.].

For those interested in learning more about our award-winning* book…

Yorkville Twins: Growing Up in New York City in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s [ISBN: 978-0-9839337-6-2] is a laugh-out-loud memoir by retired twin teachers Joe and John Gindele, born of Czech and German immigrants [remarkable parents who lived unremarkable lives] in a family of seven during World War II. It is the story of our adventures and misadventures, struggles and successes growing up over 60 years ago on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in a tough ethnic neighborhood called Yorkville. This is not a heroic story, but one of love, discipline, hard work and sacrifice, tenacity and ingenuity to become productive members of society. It is the story of two imperfect and somewhat crazy guys—who think and work outside the box—with a passion for life. Loaded with hundreds of insightful anecdotes including over 100 vintage photos, it is serious, tragic, educational, entertaining, historical and fun—full of humor, wisdom, and frank talk [Mom use to say, “B e z   p r ác e   n e j s o u   k o l ác e . ”  ”Without work, there are no ‘kolaches’ (Czech sweet rolls).” In essence, without work there are no rewards!] This was the immigrant mantra that built our country, and it was constantly drummed into our heads and the heads of other immigrant and first-generation children.

More than a memoir of a 1950s working class neighborhood, it is about life rich in friendships and those experiences and observations that have shaped us into being who we are. It is the story of the realization of the ultimate dream immigrant parents wanted for their children in this great country called America. Devotees of Bill Bryson, Garrison Keillor, Thomas Pryor and others who recount memories of their childhoods will love this book. Expect to (1) Renew childhood memories, (2) Live the immigrant experience, and (3) Have lots of fun laughing long and loud. (Ya Sure, You Betcha!) Hold your breath! Here comes trouble!

Read Yorkville Twins and learn about the historical, social and cultural conditions of the past. It was the American dream through immigrant eyes, a time long gone by never to be repeated. It was a time to remember. . . .

We are sorry, but the book in print form is no longer available from us. All 2,500 copies are sold out and we don’t anticipate printing additional ones at this time. However, we DO have the book available as an eBook with Amazon. Check it out.

We also give multi-media presentations to groups based on our book. Contact us. See Order page.

*Besides being adopted as required reading for college students, Yorkville Twins was honored winning a coveted award at the prestigious 23rd annual Midwest Book Awards (Social Science category) from books submitted by authors from 12 Midwestern states.

Are you looking for interesting and engaging speakers for your next organization meeting or event? Look no further. We’ve given over 60 fun-filled multimedia presentations to diverse groups.  All have been well received.

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