A free national database, MissingMoney.com, is helping Americans reclaim missing money quickly and easily.   Ever wondered if you have any unclaimed money, such as utility deposits or cash left in a bank account? Chances are you m

ight.  According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), there is an excess of unclaimed property funds totaling $32.8 billion. Furthermore, one in eight Americans has some missing money to claim. Established in November 1999, Missingmoney.com is the only database approved by (NAUPA). MissingMoney.com permits anyone to easily search lost assets legally required to be turned over to the states.   How does it work? Simply fill out your name, state, ZIP, etc. and the site automatically searches over 40 states. The searches are free and the database is refreshed monthly. You can do an individual, family or business search and search as often as you like. Searches can be done within a single state or within all of the states the database currently searches. Any claim must be filed within the state holding your funds paperwork and processing time frames vary from state to state and by property type based upon claim activity. (Typically between 4 - 16 weeks).   Missingmoney.com also recommends ways to prevent unclaimed property: Hold on to bank and savings accounts records. Document all stock certificates and cash any dividends received. Record all utility and telephone deposits. Respond in writing to any requests for confirmation of account balances with banks, stockbrokers and utility companies. Organize a list of accounts to be notified of an address change, and share this list with a family member or a trusted adviser. Notify your bank, broker, credit card issuers, employer, 401K administrator, insurance contacts, mortgage lenders, doctors, attorney, accountant, investment accounts, and others of your name changes due to marriage, divorce or other legal action. Cash all checks promptly when received. Recovering assets has never been easier, or more efficient. Missingmoney.com could lead you to a nice chunk of cash you didn’t know you had.   By Kathleen Clark   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at editorial@atelier-us.com