A Network of the National Association of State Treasurers

Learn about Unclaimed Property

How States Return Missing Money

States return over a billion dollars annually 

The state treasurers and other officials who administer the unclaimed property programs have developed many powerful and effective methods for locating owners.  Each state may use any or all of the following to connect owners with their unclaimed property.

Official government websites

States offer free online searches of their unclaimed property databases. If a match is found, there is no fee to claim the found property.

Public data

States may cross-check public databases to proactively locate owners and return unclaimed property to them.

Outreach events

States conduct thousands of public outreach events at state fairs, local festivals, and even shopping malls to allow citizens to search for unclaimed property.

National database

Most states take part in the national database of unclaimed property (MissingMoney.com), which allows the public to search most states at once at no cost.

By the Numbers: Returning Unclaimed Property

0 's of millions
of inquiries annually
$ 0 +
returned by states annually

As the foremost authority in unclaimed property, NAUPA helps provide the necessary leadership, consumer protection, and support—facilitating collaboration among government administrators—to promote the success of this beneficial program returning billions in unclaimed property to its owners each year.

Other ways states return missing money

Each state determines what is most effective and appropriate in reuniting unclaimed property with its owners for that particular state

States may also use the following methods to find and contact owners of unclaimed property:

  • Mailings to home or work
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Television cash-a-thons
  • Partnerships with legislature

Be sure any communication regarding missing money is legitimate

It is always free to search for and claim your missing money through official state government programs.  If you receive a communication regarding your unclaimed property that involves a fee, it may be from a third-party finder or locator.  Be careful to avoid unclaimed property scams when reviewing communications regarding possible unclaimed property.  If you have questions, you can always contact your state’s official unclaimed property program.