The U.S. government, deserved or not, has the reputation of taking people’s money. Rarely do you hear the opposite. But in what may be one of the most rewarding government jobs, Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel gets to reunite people with his state’s share of the $32 billion in unclaimed money nationwide.
Every state has unclaimed money that its treasurers work to reunite with their rightful owners. Missouri’s share totals $600 million. Zweifel just returned the largest amount of unclaimed cash in his state’s history — $6.1 million — to a Kansas City woman who wanted to remain anonymous. Zweifel has another 38 accounts to return, totaling $1,000,000 or more.
In a press release on the Missouri state treasurer’s Web site, Zweifel says, “Assets become Unclaimed Property every day for many reasons, whether it is a death in the family, misplaced documents or a change in address. What is important though is Missourians know we will safeguard their money forever until they claim it.”
Every state has an unclaimed property database, which can be found on the state government’s Web site (just do a Google search for your state’s name and “unclaimed property”) or visit MissingMoney.com, a database created by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The data for more than 40 states can be located on that site. Just type in your name and your state of residence to check to see if you’re on record as due some money.
Typing in your name offers up that same rush as scratching off a lottery ticket. Turns out, there’s unclaimed money waiting for a “Melissa Bell” in Washington. Too bad the Melissa listed has a different middle name.