Chasing the Midnight Money Train—Find Unclaimed Money in Georgia
Millions of dollars lay around as unclaimed money across the United States. People don’t claim their assets for various reasons. While the total sum may not make you rich, these funds can be a pleasant addition to your savings account or an excuse to treat yourself to something nice.
What Counts as Unclaimed Money in Georgia?
Every state has its rules and legislation on dealing with unclaimed property, but they all agree on what counts as unclaimed money in general. Georgia has an Unclaimed Property Program that operates within the Department of Revenue.
As per Georgia’s Unclaimed Property Program definition, the unclaimed property encompasses all funds whose owner of record failed to remain in contact with relevant financial institutions or business accounts. In such situations, the assets end up in the Unclaimed Property Program within five years of inactivity for most items.
If you need more legal details, you can check Georgia’s Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act, Georgia Code § 44-12-190.
Types of Unclaimed Money in GA
According to Georgia's Unclaimed Money Program, an unclaimed property may refer to various items. The table below shows the most sought-after categories of unclaimed money:
|Unclaimed Property Category||Includes|
Safe Deposit Box Contents
This list is not exhaustive. For a detailed overview of the property that counts as unclaimed money and corresponding dormancy periods, you can check out this unclaimed property annual filing report by Georgia’s Department of Revenue.
Why Does Money Become Unclaimed?
It seems counterintuitive that someone would leave any money unclaimed, but it happens all the time. In most cases, the amount is too small for the claimant to do anything about it. Other possible reasons include the following situations:
- A customer forgot to claim a refund
- A tenant left, didn’t collect the safety deposit, and didn’t leave any contact information to the landlord or property management company
- An owner passed away, and it wasn’t possible to contact the heirs
- An employee left a job without collecting the last paycheck or leaving the direct deposit information
If the amount is insignificant, companies usually make minimal effort to find the rightful owner since the process can be time-consuming. Financial institutions and businesses have the duty to report any unclaimed property to the state within designated time frames if the attempts to contact the owner prove unsuccessful.
For most items, the dormancy period is five years, but exceptions exist. For safe deposit box contents, the dormancy period lasts two years. If an employee doesn’t collect her or his salary or commissions within one year, the company needs to turn it over to the state.
How To Find Unclaimed Money in Georgia on Your Own
The United States doesn’t have a centralized system for locating an unclaimed property. The resource closest to operating on the federal level is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, where you can find information on how to report or claim lost money in different states.
Since the official institution that oversees unclaimed property in Georgia is the Department of Revenue, their website is a good starting point if you want to deal with this issue on your own. The general search process includes these steps:
- Open the Unclaimed Property Search page
- Select Search for Unclaimed Property
- Type in your first and last name and city
- Click on Add next to the properties that belong to you
- Hit Claim Properties in My Cart in the upper-right corner when you’re done
- Choose the appropriate relationship category for each property on the list from the drop-down menu
- Click on the Log in or Register button to proceed
You may need to provide your Social Security Number to refine the search or confirm your ownership claim. Access to this search tool is free, and you can use it to check the status of a previously filed claim as well.
DoNotPay Can Find Your Unclaimed Money Hassle-Free
While getting your unclaimed money won’t be the same as winning a lottery, you should give it a go regardless. Most forgotten property claims fluctuate around $100, and nobody would say no to free money.
People usually have no idea whether they have any unclaimed property in their name or don’t know proper methods to claim it. With DoNotPay’s Missing Money feature, you will be able to access your forgotten assets in no time.
You don’t need to waste time on multiple websites and search platforms, especially if you have lived in more than one state. DoNotPay’s search engine for unclaimed money sifts through existing state databases on your behalf. The process is as easy and straightforward as it can be:
- Set up your DoNotPay account in any web browser
- Select Missing Money when you log in
- Enter your contact information, including your middle name and previous addresses
- Click on Claim My Property to have DoNotPay file a claim in your name
How To Prevent Losing Your Property in the Future
The lack of communication is behind most cases of unclaimed property. Businesses and institutions that have your money won’t contact you unless you keep them updated on your location or other relevant details.
To avoid having more unclaimed assets under your name, you can try to:
- Inform the institutions holding your money or other property about any relevant changes in your life, especially if you move or get married
- Contact them at least once a year regardless of potential changes to your contact details
- Keep detailed personal records of all deposits, bank accounts, stock certificates, or insurance policies
- Keep an updated will with a precise asset distribution plan
How Else Can DoNotPay Help Georgia Residents?
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