There are $33 billion of unclaimed funds in the U.S.
These comprise of dividend checks, insurance payments, utility refunds, credit balances, paychecks, etc. that people have lost track of. Each state collects the forgotten funds and tries to locate their owners.
States require that companies turn over any funds from personal accounts that have been abandoned by the owners. This inactivity period is usually three years or longer.
State comptrollers are the custodians of unclaimed funds, and some of them have quite the pile of money to return. New York has $10.5 billion of dead money sitting around, California – $6 billion, Texas – $2.2 billion and Pennsylvania – $1.5 billion.
Some of these money might be yours — so check your mail for letters from your state comptroller or treasury, or find Unclaimed Funds section on their websites, where you can search by your name.
Marketwatch looked into the unclaimed funds for the State of California and found out that many celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have some money to collect.
We checked on some of the star entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and it turns out they too left behind some paychecks, dividends and insurance claims checks. Here are some of the slackers:
• Steve Jobs has $509 in unclaimed funds. (Mostly, insurance claim checks and some IBM money, and TimeWarner dividends.)
• Sergey Brin – $2,110 (Lots of forgotten wages from Stanford University)
• Mark Zuckerberg – $309 (from a PayPal-related transaction)
• Mark Pincus of Zynga — $648 (Dividends, escrow account, health insurance vendor)
• Shawn Fanning — $743 (Mostly forgotten royalties from Paramount Pictures, probably for his cameo in the Italian Job.)
• Frank Quattrone, the tech-focused investment banker — $105 (from a mutual fund account)
• Matt Drudge can claim some $1,534 from the State of California (from Walt Disney and News Publishing Austria Ltd.)
Different states have different unclaimed funds laws, but in most cases this forgotten money never reverts to the state but it is held forever until the rightful owner comes forward to collect.