While some think the sweetest rewards in life are the hard-earned rewards, I feel different. Although I appreciate the importance of the effort, I cherish the graces of life even more. If it goes without saying that our work bears fruit, how can we explain that good fortune occurs without our being responsible for it?
As an example, having other pilots make up for my mistakes is just one of the ways I was spared a fate I deserved. Since so many repayments bring life, I can’t help but savor them. With that in mind, this article will cover one money-making opportunity that is made even more enjoyable by the fact that it comes from a second chance:
• What: As unlikely as it sounds, our great state has millions of forgotten accounts, uncashed checks, uncashed deposits, and abandoned safes. Over time, the money in these accounts ends up in the custody of the Texas Comptroller’s Office. In fact, because of all the oversights, there is about $ 3.8 billion waiting to be claimed by the Texans. In Lubbock alone, there are over thousands of outstanding debts.
• How: FREE you can check unclaimed money over the internet, phone or mail. To search online, go to http://comptroller.texas.gov/up/. For those who like it the old fashioned way, you can call 800-321-2274 or write to “Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Unclaimed Property Claims Section, PO Box 12046, Austin, TX 78711-2046”. For mail inquiries, be sure to include your name, address, social security number, mailing address, and phone number. If you owe anything, you will need to provide proof of identity as per the online instructions and mail it to the controller’s office. If you are taking the latter course, keep in mind that the controller’s office is mostly telecommuting at this time, so your treatment will likely be delayed.
• Other States: While unfortunate, it is sad that some people had to live outside of Texas. If you count yourself among that number, there is a silver lining! You can have unclaimed property in possession of the state where you once lived. To find out if you have anything to pay, free websites that serve as a pointer to unclaimed funds from another state can be found at http://www.unclaimed.org/ or MissingMoney.com.
• Other Countries: As if living in another state wasn’t bad enough, some have experienced the added indignity of having to live outside the United States. Small consolation, there are even resources to manage this eventuality. For example, unclaimed property in Canada can be found at http://www.bankofcanada.ca/unclaimed-balances. In addition, links are also available for New Zealand, Australia, France and Switzerland at http://www.unclaimed.org/other/.
• Other Possibilities: In addition to state and foreign governments, some unclaimed property can be found with federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. For links to some of these possibilities, go to http://www.unclaimed.org/other/. Additionally, a claim for unpaid bond claims can be found at https://www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf.
• Warning 1: Try to stick to the websites listed in this article. Often, other resources that claim to locate the lost money require payment. Generally, websites ending in “.gov” or “.org” are free.
• Caveat 2: If a company offers to help you recover unclaimed property for a percentage, don’t accept it. In the first place, it probably means that you have substantial unclaimed cash. Second, the above procedures are so simple that such services are completely unnecessary. My main point is that there are parts that might try to make a task so daunting that you might feel inclined to ask for their help. Don’t bite the hook.
• Warning 3: If you find that a large amount of money is waiting for you, there may be tax implications. For example, if a lost inventory was converted to cash by the agency that held it, a tax invoice might be due. While this is unlikely to happen, keep this in mind for large amounts.
I encourage you to check out your options, wish you good luck, and hope you find fortune. After all, it’s your money. Why not claim it? If you have any questions or additional ideas, please visit and “like” our Facebook site (Click www.facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper or log into Facebook and enter “Lubbock Savvy Shopper” into the search tool) or Write to us at SavvyShopperLubbock @ gmail .com and let us know your thoughts.
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SEAN FIELDS is AJ’s wise buyer. Read his columns on Sundays and Wednesdays. Email him at [email protected], like his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper, or check out previous columns and offers at lubbockonline.com/savvy-shopper