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Georgia Unclaimed Money

What Is Unclaimed Money in Georgia?

When funds belonging to a Georgia resident remain untouched or become dormant, financial institutions must report them to the Georgia Department of Revenue as unclaimed funds per the Georgia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Georgia unclaimed money includes bank account balances, unpaid back wages, unclaimed insurance policies, securities, and uncashed checks. The Department of Revenue creates a government list of unclaimed money, which the state agency updates regularly and makes available to the public.

Meanwhile, after reporting the property or money as unclaimed, state laws also direct financial institutions to act as temporary holders for residents’ unclaimed money for up to fifteen years. If a valid claim does not arise within this holding period, the holder must escheat the unclaimed money to the Georgia Department of Revenue. In turn, this agency must attempt to contact the owners of the unclaimed money and process claims from eligible persons.

How To Find Georgia Unclaimed Money

The Georgia Department of Revenue maintains an online database of unclaimed money in Georgia. Interested persons who wish to find unclaimed money may perform a name-based search, which returns information about the unclaimed money owner and the institution that reported the unclaimed funds.

Although online search is the fastest way to find unclaimed money in Georgia, interested persons may find unclaimed money by calling the state agency at (855) 329-9863. The best time to call the helpline is during regular business hours between 9:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.

Unclaimed money in the United States is public and can be accessed by anyone through official or non-governmental services. Third-party unclaimed money search engines are easy to use and deliver fast results not limited by geographic region. Users can typically search for unclaimed money through third-party search sites using just a full name or business name. However, because these sites are not government-sponsored, the availability and accuracy of results can vary.

How Do I Find Unclaimed Money for Free in Georgia?

The Georgia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act only gives the state the right to hold unclaimed money and property reported within the state’s jurisdiction. Georgia residents may also have other property types, such as US Treasury bonds, pension funds, and life insurance policies that only escheat to federal agencies. Interested persons may use the official resources listed below to find and claim unclaimed money for free.

Unpaid Back Wages and Salaries

Employees and their relatives may find unclaimed back wages and salaries by searching the unclaimed money database set up by the Department of Labor. Alternatively, parties can call the Wages and Hours Division on (866) 487-9243 or visit the local office in Georgia. The Wages and Hours Division recovers unpaid wages and lost compensations for employees affected by unfair employment practices. The affected worker must then submit a claim for the recovered money, following a notification from the Wages and Hours Division. If the money remains uncollected for more than three years, the agency shall report it as unclaimed funds to the Department of Labor.

Unpaid Pensions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has a guide for pensioners with unclaimed money and maintains a database these individuals and their relatives can use to find unclaimed pensions. The PBGC ensures retirees continue to get retirement benefits even when the original company goes bankrupt, changes its name, merges with another company, or splits into independent companies. Concerned persons may also contact the PBGC at:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4026
Phone: (800) 326-5678

Unclaimed Veterans’ Life Insurance Funds

The veterans’ life insurance fund ensures service members and dependents receive regular payments if a veteran becomes disabled, injured, or dies after discharge or during active duty. These individuals can find unclaimed insurance benefits by searching the Department of Veteran Affairs database or contacting the agency using the information below:

Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Local office directory
Phone: (800) 827-1000

Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds

Taxpayers can collect unclaimed refunds by searching the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refunds database. Alternatively, the taxpayer may visit the local IRS office (see the local office directory) or call the IRS helpline on (800) 829-1040 to process the recovery of the unclaimed money.

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service reimburses Americans who overpaid their taxes. When this happens, the IRS subtracts the tax owed from the amount paid and refunds the taxpayer via personal checks, savings bonds, or direct deposit to the individual’s bank account. Many of these payments remain unclaimed for years, but finding and claiming the refunds is possible.

Unclaimed Credit Union Deposits

Credit union members tend to leave or forget about the money in their accounts for a long time — especially when the account owner discontinues using the institution’s services. After a period of inactivity, the credit union will report the money in the account as unclaimed. Account owners and authorized representatives may search the National Credit Union Administration database for unclaimed credit union deposits. Alternatively, parties can contact the administration via:

National Credit Union Administration
4807 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 5100
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 231-7900
Fax: (512) 231-7920
Email: amacmail@ncua.gov

Unclaimed Harmed Investors’ Funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disburses recovered investments to harmed investors through a third-party funds administrator. After three years of repeated attempts to contact the investors or immediate family members, the administrator reports unclaimed money. An investor’s search for this unclaimed money begins on the US Securities and Exchange Commission database for unclaimed funds. Alternatively, parties can visit the regional office or call the helpline.

US Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549
Regional offices directory
Phone: (202) 551-6551

Unclaimed Matured Savings Bonds

When bonds and accrued interests go unclaimed for several years after maturation, the investment firm or the US Treasury Department will report the funds as unclaimed. Concerned persons may find unclaimed bonds for themselves and relatives by searching the US Treasury Department database. Alternatively, contact the government agency on (844) 284-2676 and (202) 622-2000. Claimants may also send an email to treasury.direct@fiscal.treasury.gov.

Unclaimed Bankruptcy Funds

In bankruptcy cases, the money from liquidating a debtor’s assets goes towards paying creditors. The court shall deem the funds unclaimed when a creditor fails to claim this money for more than three years despite the bankruptcy trustee’s notifications. Creditors and authorized representatives can later confirm and process payment for unclaimed funds from bankruptcy using the US Courts Unclaimed Funds Locator. Alternatively, contact the bankruptcy court where the bankruptcy case was adjudicated.

US Bankruptcy Courts
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, DC 20544

Unclaimed Mortgage Refunds

Specific home mortgage plans such as ones insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can result in refunds that become listed as unclaimed money. Parties can use the Department of Housing and Urban Development database to find any unclaimed premium refunds and share payments.

451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
Phone: (800) 697-6967
Email: sf.premiums@hud.gov

Unclaimed Funds in a Foreign Country

Government settlement agreements set up funds to compensate US nationals whose property was nationalized, damaged, or destroyed due to military operations in a foreign country. These settlement agreements also cover the surviving relatives of nationals who died in such operations. Eligible persons may file a claim or recover unclaimed payments by checking the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission database. Alternatively, claimants can contact the government agency:

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
441 G Street, NW, Room 6330
Washington, DC 20579
Email: info.FCSC@usdoj.gov

How To Claim Unclaimed Money in Georgia

The process of claiming unclaimed money in Georgia involves searching, filing a claim, and the reviewing of the claim to be approved or denied. Interested persons must visit the unclaimed property website and perform a name-based search using the individual’s full name or business name. The system will return a list of best matches pulled from the government list of unclaimed funds. Generally, persons who perform a name-based search for unclaimed money can expect to see the owner’s full name, last known location, and the holder’s name. Upon perusing this list, the searcher must add the most relevant claims to an online claims cart and proceed to check out.

The system will then prompt the searcher to provide their relationship to the unclaimed money — original owner, heir, or third party. Following this, the searcher must provide the necessary personal and contact information, including full name, social security number, and current physical address.

In the final phase, the system sends the online claim to an administrative staff who reviews the claim based on the information provided and approves or rejects the claim. If approved, the holder will return the funds to the claimant, or the Georgia Department of Revenue will issue a check for the equivalent amount remaining. Generally, persons filing a claim for unclaimed money in Georgia must possess a driver’s license, vital records, or a court order authorizing the claimant to claim unclaimed money on the owner’s behalf.

How Long Does It Take To Get Unclaimed Money in Georgia?

The average time from filing a claim to receiving a payout from the Department of State Treasurer is 60 days for online claims. However, this processing time varies depending on the claimant, the volume of claims received, and if a claimant provided the correct information.

Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in Georgia?

Immediate surviving family members and extended relatives may claim unclaimed money from deceased relatives in Georgia. These individuals may also hire an attorney to claim unclaimed funds on their behalf. In the same vein, executors of a deceased’s estate and court-appointed probate administrators can claim unclaimed money on a deceased relative’s behalf. All of these claimants must, however, provide supporting documentation.

What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Georgia if No One Claims It?

Georgia laws allow the Department of Revenue to sell unclaimed property three years after the holder escheats the property to the state agency per OCGA 44-12-217. However, unclaimed money typically remains claimable in perpetuity.

Can Someone in Georgia Claim Unclaimed Money From Another State?

Yes. A current Georgia resident who once lived in other states can claim unclaimed money, especially if they have dormant or abandoned accounts, unclaimed dividends, or unpaid wages. The process of claiming the money is independent of the process in Georgia. Most states have separate websites for finding unclaimed money and submitting a claim. Still, intending claimants can expect to see some similarities in the process for claiming unclaimed money from another state.