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Some of Your Money Could be Sitting in The State Treasury—Here’s How to Get it In Your Pocket

New year, more cash: There’s a government program that could make it a thing. Maybe you’ve heard of unclaimed property, the (confusing-at-first) term for cash that technically belongs to you but never actually reached you. Anyone can have it—your college student, your mom, your neighbor who you’ve never seen, even your uncle who refuses to open a bank account. And yes, you. 

Uncovering your unclaimed property is like finding a four-leaf clover, or better yet, a pot of gold (with your name on it) at the end of a rainbow. But it can all sound too good to be true, so we’re here to demystify it and help you get that money back under your mattress, in your pocket, in your savings, at the ready to be spent on organic groceries, Guinness, or diamonds. Wherever home is for your money. 

Before we begin, put on your green, clutch your clover, kiss an Irish, and then give it a go: Check if you have any unclaimed property (one in 10 Massachusetts residents does!). Put your name in findmassmoney.gov and look for a match to your name and address. If you find a match, congratulations—that money is yours! Now let’s find out how it got there, and how to get it back. 

Not Gone, Just Forgotten 

Think of it this way: What if there was a website that could tell you where all your lost stuff was (even the stuff you didn’t know you lost)? Findmassmoney.gov is that, but for money. And yes, when it comes to money, we guard it with our lives, so many of us assume we know exactly where it all is. But in some cases, it can get lost—like a French fry under the car seat or a necklace behind the dresser.  

Just like everyone’s lost stuff is lost for different reasons, everyone’s unclaimed property is unclaimed for different reasons. Among the most popular: An undeposited paycheck from a job you had in ancient history, an uncashed dividend check from your old job, or a savings account you opened so long ago you forgot about it entirely.  

Take Emily G. for example — she thought her luck had run out years ago when she claimed money for the first time. But, upon checking in 2024, she struck gold again. “I was so surprised and excited to find out I had money owed to me from MA Treasury,” she says. “I didn’t realize you could get a have unclaimed money more than once.” 

So, where does this money come from? When a bank, insurance company, business, or other “holder” can’t contact a financial asset’s owner for three years or more, it is required by law to turn the assets over to the state. The Commonwealth then puts the money in your proverbial pot o’ gold and attempts to reunite this money with you. Give it a shot! It’s free, secure, quick, and at least a little bit fun if you ask us. 

In Case of Unclaimed Property 

Don’t panic! But do celebrate because if you see your name on the “big list,” free money is coming your way. There’s absolutely no catch. You might have to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but once you verify your identity, your money will be on its way home where it belongs—under your mattress, in your pocket, in your savings, at the ready to spend on the first round of Guinness.