As much fun as it is to find money the Treasury is holding for you, it's equally fun to find money the banks may be holding for you. Remember that savings account you opened up with your parents as a kid? Did you every cash it out? What about the bank account you first opened up when you got married, or that college savings account your grandmother opened for your kids?
The fact is that people move, change jobs, get married, change their names, get divorced, change their names again, die-you name it. Every single day, money gets lost at the banks.
And it's not simply because people forget. These days, if there is no activity on a bank account for a year or so, the bank will send you a letter basically asking what's up and warning that if they don't hear back from you, they will consider the account to have been abandoned. Unfortunately, since one out of every seven Americans moves each year, these letters often don't reach the account holders and so their money goes into the unclaimed pile.
Here's how to find the money that you may have lost. My first stop would be the NAUPA website, which provides links to the individual databases of all 50 states listing unclaimed assets. I'd also visit MissingMoney.com, a one-stop-shop for finding unclaimed property that is operated by a private company for NAUPA.
Next: Check with the FDIC