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Find missing money

By Jennie Bragg, producer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- You know that feeling you get when you find a five dollar bill in the ski jacket you haven't worn in a year, or dig a twenty out from between the couch cushions?

Now, imagine finding out that you have hundreds or even thousands of dollars in missing (or forgotten) riches. There is over 33.8 billion dollars in unclaimed property in the United States, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, so how can you know if any of if belongs to you?

There are plenty of free websites out there to help you reconnect with your missing cash.

Lost property

To see if you have any money you may not know about, head to missingmoney.com. This is the official database for the NAUPA, which provides records from and links to most state unclaimed property programs.

You can also search your state's unclaimed property directory directly. Don't just search the state you live in now. Search every state you have ever lived in using your current and your maiden name . And try searching your parent's home state as well. Who knows, they may have an account or a safe deposit box in your name.

Pensions

Pensions may be a thing of the past, but if you think you might be owed, collect now.

Head to Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation's search directory. Just type in your name and the company that you worked for. If you are not in the directory, don't be discouraged. PBGC takes over for now-defunct companies. If the company you are looking for is still up and running, just contact them directly about your pension status.

Savings bonds

Who regularly thinks about something you are supposed to hang onto for decades?

So if you have lost track of your savings bonds you are not alone. If you have savings bonds that are still earning interest, but you can't imagine where the documents are or how much they're worth, check out the government's Treasury Direct Service (treasurydirect.gov).

If you have information like the Social Security number on the bonds or the date of issue, the Treasury will likely be able to reissue or replace them.

If you think you may have some bonds that you forgot about, check out Treasury Direct's "treasure hunt" feature, which allows you to search your social security number for lost bonds.

No matter how old the bonds are, the money stays there for you or your heirs to claim. So don't just search for yourself, search for relatives too!

Talkback: Do you think you might have lost track of an old savings bond? To top of page

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