With the holidays coming up, wouldn't it be nice to have a big pile of cash? Turns out, that may not be a pipe dream — and no, you don't have to win the lottery. We've written about Missing Money in the past as a way to pay the bills. And while the site may sound sketchy, it's completely legit, endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) to serve as a database for unclaimed funds on a state and national level.
There is a whopping $32 billion in unclaimed funds in the United States. Ever left a job without getting your last paycheck or moved without making sure all your local accounts were closed? Those are the types of common sources of cash that eventually end up becoming unclaimed funds — sometimes for years. Other common sources of cash include benefits from life insurance companies, bequests from wills, and random bill adjustments. And if you've moved a lot or held a lot of jobs, it's even more likely that a check or two may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
So what's the catch? There is none. All you have to do is search your name (you can also search celeb names just for fun — turns out, Miley Cyrus is owed an undisclosed sum back in Tennessee) and, if your name comes up, fill out a few documents, along with proof of ID.
For fun and as an office experiment, we asked staffers and friends to try. Click through to see the seriously impressive amount we came up with. (Hint: Almost $100K!)
Then do a search for your own name — with any luck, your holiday shopping bills will be paid, minimal effort required.