Does Any of this Money Belong to You? There’s $4.5 Billion Unclaimed in NJ
Your biggest payday could be right around the corner, and you hardly have to move a muscle.
According to the Unclaimed Property Administration within New Jersey's Department of the Treasury, there's about $4.5 billion up for grabs. A portion of that dough may have your name on it.
From old bank accounts to lost checks to stock dividends, any lost or abandoned property gets forwarded to the state, and officials compile all the information into one central database - missingmoney.com - so you can easily see if you're in line for a payout.
"A lot of times, people move, or unfortunately, they pass away, and the loved ones don't know about that account and it gets reported to us," Steven Harris, UPA administrator, told Townsquare Media. "Sometimes we won't even know the person's deceased when it's reported to us."
According to Harris, life insurance policies have been a common addition to the pot recently. Beneficiaries don't realize they're eligible for funds, and that's why it's important not to search for only your name, but the names of deceased relatives as well.
The site, which handles listings for most U.S. states, is simple to use. Type in a last name and location, and see what pops up. If you think a listing belongs to you, submit a claim and wait for a response.
Over the past five years, UPA has returned over $530 million in property to the rightful owners, including more than $124 million in 2015.
Setting a record as the state's biggest payout ever, an individual claimed $3.1 million worth of stocks that were part of an estate.
New Jersey holds on to unclaimed property in perpetuity until it's claimed. And those unclaimed funds accrue interest over time, making your payout even bigger in the end.