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Short on Cash? Look in the Trash

Demetri Cirillo of Boca Raton, Fla., found more than $750,000 worth of checks in a gas station garbage can, but instead of stealing the bounty, Cirillo called police because, he says, he knows what it’s like to lose a huge sum of money. (Huffington Post)

Trash MoneyCirillo, an avid coin collector, lost at least $100,000 worth of rare currency when his SUV’s tire blew out, the car flipped six times and scattered coins across the highway — some of which were snapped up by passersby.

“What goes around comes around,” Cirillo told the Sun Sentinel. “I wanted to do the right thing,”

It’s good to hear about people doing the right thing. Cirillo is not the only person to find money and return it to the rightful owner.  A Tennessee man called police after he found nearly $13,000 in cash in a bag sitting on top of a trash can at a convenience store, according to Yahoo! News. And in Wellesley, Mass., a Brazilian immigrant handyman of modest means took pains to return the $20,000 to $30,000 he found while sorting through old books and magazines.

There other ways to “find” money and you don’t have to give it back!

Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. That’s roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.

I recently found over $50 that was mine that I had no idea about.  www.fltreasurehunt.org has a search feature where you can search to see if there is any money that you are owned that has for some reason been unclaimed.  Be sure to check it out!

Also, be sure you visit unclaimed.org to search by state to see if you have any lost money that you are due.  Below are a few other sites that you can check to see if you have any money that is just waiting for you to claim it.

  • State-held unclaimed property: Visit NAUPA’s unclaimed.org for a map with links to each state’s program.
  • Life insurance: For benefits not held by the state, check the insurer’s site directly. For example, MetLife has an online search.
  • Pensions: For Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. benefits, visit the agency’s online search directory.
  • U.S. savings bonds: More than 45 million matured savings bonds, worth nearly $16 billion, remain unredeemed, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To search the database, visit treasuryhunt.gov.
  • Tax refunds: In 2011, the Internal Revenue Service said it had $153.3 million in tax refund checks that were undeliverable. To make sure you’ve received your checks, visit the IRS’s Where’s my refund? tool.
  • Overbid proceeds: If a foreclosed home or tax lien for delinquent taxes is sold at auction for a price above the money owed, the former property owner is owed the so-called “overbid proceeds,” which are typically held at the county level. But, counties typically send notifications about the funds to the foreclosed address, so many people remain unaware of the extra cash, according to Mary Pitman, author of “The Little Book of Missing Money.” These funds are different than other unclaimed funds in that the property owner’s claim in some counties only last a few years. Contact the county clerk to find out which local agency holds the funds.


Are you owed money? Be sure to check out those sites to find out.

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