Unclaimed money could be yours

Seven On Your Side
December 10, 2008 2:31:34 PM PST
It could be the solution to your own economic crisis. There is $33 billion in unclaimed cash and valuables just waiting for you to claim, and there's a one in 10 chance there's something there for you. Seven is on your side to show you how to get it.

A non-descript room holds a treasure trove of unclaimed loot.

From a pricey solid gold antique pocket watch to a priceless unclaimed Purple Heart medal.

All the possessions were contents of safe deposit boxes dormant for five years. That's when banks in New Jersey tured the contents over to the state Department of Treasury.

"I just want everyone to know you may have something out there," Kimangel Waters said.

Waters went online and found unclaimed funds for a number of family members.

"I found my mother's name, my uncle's name, my two uncles' names and my aunt's name," she said.

She told her uncle he had an undisclosed amount in his name, just waiting for him to claim it.

"It's amazing that something like that can be held for you, right?" Ulysses Coleman asked.

Coleman thinks the money owed him dates back to a bank account he had 40 years ago.

At the New Jersey Treasury, stacks of files are packed with records of unclaimed bank account receipts, stock dividends, even life insurance payouts you might never have heard about.

"The average is about $100, sometimes more than that, and the odds of finding something, they say is about on in 10," said Greg Doherty, of Consumer Reports.

The best way to do it is to go to MissingMoney.com. All you have to do is put in your name and state.

In fact, while doing this story, 7 On Your Side's Tappy Phillips even found money in the South Carolina treasury, money left in her mom's bank account.

Once you find the money, you'll have to put in a claim. That usually means proving your identity and the address where you may have had your old accounts. And buyer beware. On the Web, there's a host of sites that say they'll find your money - but for a price. ---

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