by Hans Eisenbeis
- MissingMoney.com is a website that keeps track of unclaimed property. It’s estimated that American consumers have misplaced or forgotten more than $30 billion, and it’s only a few clicks away (Dateline.MSNBC.com 6.15.08).
- Most unclaimed property is in the range of $100 to $1,000 and comes from forgotten deposit checks, refunds and closed accounts.
- Though the site has been around since 1999, it’s getting a lot of traffic and attention thanks to what one blogger calls “the imminent Depression era.”
- It may sound like a scam, but it’s the real thing, with direct connection to — and instructions from — state treasuries in nearly all 50 states and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- It’s harder than ever to stretch a dollar. When consumers have the opportunity to reclaim forgotten or lost dough, you can bet they’re happy.
- Every little bit counts. Even though many were skeptical about the federal economic stimulus checks issued this spring, that money really did give a nice bump to retail sales and savings.
- Good news gets amped in bad times, especially if it’s a positive story about money and personal finance.
- MissingMoney.com enables users to check nationally and state by state to see if they are owed money they didn’t know about.