Blogs & Comment

Unclaimed money, we all have some

The other day I discovered there was a $94 credit sitting in my account at the local recreational association. Last year I had to cancel some swimming lessons for my two boys and had forgotten that the refunds were still there.
It seems people do this a lot leave money in an account and then forget about it. Duncan Hood did a nifty pieceawhile back on the billions of dollars in lost treasure out there just waiting to be claimed. He mentioned the following (along with websites for doing searches):
Unclaimed funds in bank accounts Unclaimed funds for life insurance beneficiaries Unclaimed pension benefits Unclaimed funds from an estate Unclaimed funds from a bankruptcy Old stock certificates
I stumbled a few days ago on another place where unclaimed funds can be found: Unclaimed Trust Funds at provincial Law Societies. If you have paid money to a lawyerand there are balances remaining after completingwork for you, the lawyermay transfer the funds to their Law Societys Unclaimed Trust Fund if they are unable to find you after two years.
The Ontario Law Society each year publishes the name of each person entitled to the money that, during the previous year, was transferred to the Society by a lawyer or licensed paralegal. Here is the most recentlist, as published in theOntario Gazette (you have to search on the phrase Unclaimed Trust Fund”).
Im sure there are plenty of other places with buried treasure. Like my local recreational association, for example, many stores and services dont offer cash refunds, only credits toward future purchases — and those credits are easy to forget in rarely used accounts.
Even the drawers around the house might have some stuff. There are all sorts of cards you can load up with money to buy something and if you dont use if frequently, you can forget about the balance still on it. For example, my card for operating the photocopy machine at the university library still has an unusedbalance from 2001.
In another drawer, I discovered some free passes to the local mini putt (alas, after the expiry dates). Then there are the gift certificates from Christmas. And a $200 coupon ( given to us over two years ago by the builder of our house) to buy trees from a garden centre. If you know of any other places to find lost money, please do leave a note in the comments section.