If you think you may be owed money from a settlement, you can search and track down the funds you're entitled. When property isn't claimed, it doesn't vanish. States maintain the money and wait for the rightful owners to come forward and claim it. You can find settlements belonging to you from a bankruptcy case, insurance company or even class action lawsuits.
Search Bankruptcy Settlements
When assets are liquidated, the trustee uses the funds to pay the creditors. The payments are generally issued in the form of a check. If the check isn't cashed within 90 days or is returned due to a change in address or undeliverable status, the trustee hands the funds over to the court and they become unclaimed funds.
If you were a debtor who filed bankruptcy, you may be owed funds leftover from liquidating assets or from a dismissed case. If you didn't receive the trustee check, you can search for unclaimed funds you may be owed.
Both claimants and debtors can search for unclaimed funds in the state where the bankruptcy case was filed. Refer to the state's bankruptcy court website to search. Check the "Public Notice" section for unclaimed funds. Enter either the debtor's name, the case number or the recipient's name. If you locate funds owed to you, complete an application for payment of unclaimed funds. You'll need to provide information to help verify you are owed the funds, such as a Social Security number of business name.
Search Your State's Department of Treasury
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators provides access to every state's unclaimed property website. If you search in a specific state, you'll see any unclaimed property, bank accounts or other assets reported in that state only. If you've lived in multiple states, go to each state website to run a search. The claim process varies by state, but you'll generally just need to produce proof of identity for an unclaimed settlement check.
Search Multiple States
You can search for <ahref="http: www.unclaimed.org="" what="" "=""> </ahref="http:>unclaimed property, money and assets using MissingMoney.com. The site allows you to enter your first and last name to search a government database of unclaimed property. Some types of unclaimed property include:
- Uncashed checks or wages
- Insurance policies
- Certificates of deposits
- Bank accounts
- Safe deposit box contents
- Escrow accounts
If you find unclaimed property under your name, verify the last known address. You'll need to complete the claim process through the state where the money is held.
Class Action Settlements
There are multiple websites that offer lists of open class action settlements you may qualify for based on services you've received or products you've purchased. You may even be eligible for class action settlements from banks, credit card companies, cell phone carriers or debt collectors. A few of the settlement resource websites include:
If you find a settlement you qualify for, click "file a claim" to be directed to the attorney's website handling the case. The majority of claims allow you to complete and submit the claim request online.