OK, back to overpaid property taxes. Super common as a form of unclaimed money. Think about it: Oftentimes your mortgage company collects extra money from you and uses it to pay your property taxes. The jargon is that they “escrow” this money or “hold it in escrow” to pay your taxes.
But, I know my husband and I used to receive a statement from the city government informing us of the amount of our property tax bill, even if we didn’t pay it directly. In tiny print there was a notification that our mortgage lender had “requested the bill.” Which is government speak for requested and paid. But the notice looks like a bill and it’s easy to miss or misconstrue those words about requesting the bill. SO, some people end up paying their property tax themselves, even though their mortgage company has already collected money from them and paid it. Voila! Double payment.
In addition, many lenders, once you have at least 20 percent equity in your home, will allow you to pay your own property taxes directly. Some people like to do this so they can keep that money invested until it’s time to pay. But switching over from having the mortgage company pay the property taxes to doing it yourself also creates another opportunity for there to be missing money hanging out there. The chances are high that the mortgage company already collected some escrow money before you switched over to self-payment. In this case, the mortgage company would be the one to turn the unclaimed funds over to your state.
So there you have it, one potential source of unclaimed funds that can happen even if you think you’d never lose track of your money.