What Is Unclaimed Money in New York?
Insurance benefits, security deposits, estate proceeds, and money in financial accounts maintained by banks and other financial institutions become unclaimed money once the last activity on these funds enters a dormancy period. When this happens, the New York Abandoned Property Law directs the financial institution to report the money as unclaimed to the Office of the New York State Comptroller. The office is a temporary holder for the unclaimed funds until the rightful owner, the owner's relative, or an authorized person submits a valid claim.
Meanwhile, the Office of State Comptroller routinely compiles a government list of unclaimed money publicly accessible to interested persons. Provided a person's name appears on this list and an authorized representative has the necessary details to file a claim, the state will turn over the unclaimed money to its rightful owner.
How To Find New York Unclaimed Money
Persons searching for unclaimed funds in New York must search the New York unclaimed money website. This online platform lets searchers find unclaimed funds and unclaimed property using the owner's full name or business name. This name-based search will return the person's name with unclaimed funds, their last known address, and the financial institution that reported the unclaimed funds. Besides finding unclaimed money online, interested persons may also call or send a mail request to find unclaimed funds to:
Office of the State Comptroller
Office of Unclaimed Funds
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12236
Phone: (800) 221-9311
Fax: (518) 270-2222
Unclaimed money in the United States is public and can be accessed by anyone through official or non-governmental services. Third-party unclaimed money search engines are easy to use and deliver fast results not limited by geographic region. Users can typically search for unclaimed money through third-party search sites using just a full name or business name. However, because these sites are not government-sponsored, the availability and accuracy of results can vary.
How Do I Find Unclaimed Money For Free in New York?
The New York unclaimed money website is free to use. There are several free resources, such as federal agencies and financial institutions outside the country, that interested persons can use to find unclaimed money while in New York.
Unclaimed State Tax Refunds
The New York Department of Taxation and Finance oversees the reimbursement of residents who overpay taxes by issuing tax refunds. Tax refunds often go unclaimed when a taxpayer doesn't check their refund status for several tax seasons or intentionally postpones claiming the refund. Interested persons may search for unclaimed state tax refunds on the Department of Taxations using their social security number and the tax year. The portal also lets New York taxpayers file a claim online.
Unpaid Back Wages and Salaries
The Wages and Hours Division of the Department of Labor is in charge of finding cases of workers' wage exploitation and recovering the funds from employers. Then, the agency notifies and pays the affected employee. However, this money often remains unclaimed by the employee. Interested persons may find unclaimed back wages and salaries by searching the unclaimed money database. Alternatively, call the Division on (866) 487-9243 or visit the local office in New York.
New York residents who have worked at private companies with private pension plans may check the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) unclaimed money database for unclaimed pensions. The PBGC also has a helpful guide that residents with unclaimed private pensions may use to find and reclaim their monies. The agency is also reachable at:
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4026
Phone: (800) 326-5678
Unclaimed Veterans' Life Insurance Funds
Service members and relatives can find unclaimed insurance benefits by searching the Department of Veteran Affairs database or contacting the agency using the information below:
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Local office directory
Phone: (800) 827-1000
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
The Internal Revenue Service maintains an unclaimed tax refunds database for tax refunds that go unclaimed for more than three years. Taxpayers w may visit the local IRS office (see local office directory) or call the IRS helpline on (800) 829-1040.
Unclaimed Credit Union Deposits
Money that credit union members leave or forget in their accounts becomes unclaimed money after a period of inactivity on the account. These funds are still recoverable. The recovery starts with searching on the National Credit Union Administration database and filing a claim. The administration is also reachable on:
National Credit Union Administration
4807 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 5100
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 231-7900
Fax: (512) 231-7920
Unclaimed Harmed Investors' Funds
A third-party administrator disburses money recovered by the Securities and Exchange Commission. When the administrator cannot reach the harmed investor after a specified period, the agency reports the funds as unclaimed money. Relevant information for claiming these funds is available on the SEC information page for unclaimed money. Alternatively, parties can schedule a visit to an SEC regional office or call (202) 551-6551.
Unclaimed Funds in a Foreign Country
US nationals whose property was nationalized by a foreign government are eligible to submit a claim for "covered losses." The same applies to persons who suffered bodily injury, loss, or property damage due to military operations in a foreign country. Affected persons and surviving relatives may file a claim or recover unclaimed payments by checking the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission database. Alternatively, contact the government agency on:
Unclaimed Matured Savings Bonds
The US Treasury Department maintains a database of unclaimed matured savings bonds in the United States. Savings bonds often go unclaimed because these investments are long-term and outlast the investor in many cases. Concerned persons may find unclaimed bonds for themselves and relatives by searching the US Treasury Department database. Alternatively, contact the government agency on (844) 284-2676 and (202) 622-2000. Claimants may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unclaimed Bankruptcy Funds
When a debtor files for bankruptcy, they enlist help from the courts to remove themselves from debt. Often, bankruptcy involves liquidation, which is when the debtor's assets are used to repay creditors. As it happens, the liquidated assets may remain unclaimed for many reasons. In that case, parties can check for unclaimed funds from bankruptcy using the US Courts Unclaimed Funds Locator. Alternatively, contact the bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy case was adjudicated.
US Bankruptcy Courts
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, DC 20544
Unclaimed Mortgage Refunds
Some home mortgage plans such as those insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can result in unclaimed funds from refunded money. Interested persons can use the Department of Housing and Urban Development database to find unclaimed premium refunds and share payments.
451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
Phone: (800) 697-6967
How To Claim Unclaimed Money in New York
There are two ways to claim unclaimed money in New York. After performing a name-based search on the unclaimed property website, an individual may submit a claim online. This method is arguably the easiest and fastest way to claim unclaimed money in New York. Alternatively, the individual may file a paper claim for unclaimed money, also known as a mail-order claim.
To file an online claim, the intending claimant visits the unclaimed money website and performs a name-based search for unclaimed money. Doing this will return the most matching results based on the provided parameters. Then, the claimant selects the results that best match their names and addresses. There is a claim button next to each search result, and the claimant must click on each result to file claims individually. The system will prompt the searcher to provide personal information, including social security number, contact details, and current physical address.
Next, the system asks the claimant to upload supporting documentation and certify the information provided is correct under the penalty of incurring civil liabilities. Finally, administrative staff reviews each claim and approves or rejects the claim based on the information provided. If approved, the Office of the New York State Comptroller will issue a check for the equivalent amount of unclaimed money and any accrued interest. Conversely, persons with rejected claims will have the opportunity to upload specific documents supporting their application, from driver's license to vital records and court order.
Persons who prefer to submit a paper claim for unclaimed money in New York can use the unclaimed money application form. After filing the form, the applicant must attach a valid government-issued ID and the necessary documentation showing their relationship to the original owner. The claimant must enclose these application documents in a self-addressed envelope and send them via US mail to:
Office of Unclaimed Funds
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12236
Phone: (800) 221-9311
Fax: (518) 270-2222
How Long Does It Take To Get Unclaimed Money in New York?
It depends. Persons who submit online claims can expect a check within two weeks. Online requests from individuals claiming unclaimed money from deceased relatives usually take four to six weeks from the date the claimant uploads the requested documents. On the other hand, mail-in claims take longer. The Office of the Comptroller typically sends an acknowledgment letter within a month of getting the mail claim, but it takes 3 to 4 months to process mail claims.
Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in New York?
Persons legally allowed to claim unclaimed money from deceased persons include the deceased's surviving spouse, immediate blood relatives, and extended blood relatives. Likewise, persons with power of attorney, executors of the deceased's will, and court-appointed probate administrators can claim unclaimed money on a deceased relative's behalf. Regardless of who files a claim for unclaimed money, state regulations require third-party claimants to provide supporting documentation before the Office of the State Comptroller will issue a check for unclaimed funds.
What Happens to Unclaimed Money in New York if No One Claims It?
Unclaimed money remains in the state's custody in perpetuity until a valid claim arises. There is no time limitation for claiming unclaimed money in New York.
Can Someone in New York Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?
Yes. New York residents with financial accounts in other states are also likely to have unclaimed money in those states. These individuals may claim those funds following the procedures outlined by the state agency in charge of unclaimed funds. Most states maintain online government lists of unclaimed money, and the required documents to process a claim are typically similar across state lines.