Finding Lost Money Online Works (Especially for Hoarders)

Piles of money
Piles of money

I don't believe in get-rich-quick schemes. Once I hit puberty, I dismissed the idea of searching for lost treasure as a waste of time. I refuse to play the lottery. I even gave up on the tooth fairy at the tender age of six ("she's imaginary," I told my parents, handing them the lost teeth with the jaded eyes of a second-grader). So when I started working on a story about finding lost money online, I shook my head at the computer. "Sure, money is just out there, waiting for me."

I started working through a list of sites to search for unclaimed assets. I started at MissingMoney.com where I searched the states I'd lived in over the past two decades; it could just be that I had a bank account I hadn't quite settled out or a pay stub from some long-forgotten waitress job. Virginia (where I went to college and worked after business school) turned up nothing; so did Pennsylvania (business school); North Carolina (my first real job as an investment banker) and New York (Wall Street and a few years sharing a condo with an ex-boyfriend, who absolutely would not forward my mail). Many states have proprietary unclaimed cash sites and do not submit their data to MissingMoney.com or its partner site, Unclaimed.org, including my residence for the last nine years, Oregon. While I was searching Oregon's site, I hit pay dirt.