personal finance

Need Quick Cash? NY Has $17.5 Billion in ‘Lost Money' on Hand. Some May Be Yours

NY is holding more than $17 billion in unclaimed funds -- and returns more than a million a day to people who file claims. Here's how to find out if any of the huge pot belongs to you

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Need quick cash? Who doesn't, right? Well, you might be owed some and not even know it.

The New York state comptroller's office is currently holding $17.5 billion in everyday people's "lost money" -- and it returns $1.5 million to those who file claims daily.

Is any yours? Search here. It's pretty simple. All you need to do is put in your last name (or a few more details if that yields too many results). Try misspelling your name, just to be sure, if nothing comes up in an initial search.

It's also worth checking the names of your relatives, especially those who have passed away. The accounts go back to the 1940s, and officials say you could be entitled to those funds. As of August, the comptroller's office had more than $4.3 billion in unclaimed cash owed to people who live in New York City, with Manhattan residents owed more than $2.2 billion and Brooklyn and Queens residents owed nearly $1 billion each. The numbers are stark on Long Island, too.

New Jersey and Connecticut also have offices that handle unclaimed funds. The monies are usually checks sent to the wrong address that never got cashed. Most of them are in amounts of $50 or $100, but you never know.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his office had a $5 million stock account that hadn't been claimed.

His office has returned nearly $290 million this year alone. Beware, though, if a company offers to search for you. That could be a sign of a scam, DiNapoli warned. Check this unclaimed funds map for a regional breakdown or look below.

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