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The $155 That Almost Wasn’t

This article was written by in Tips. 4 comments.


It was only back in April that Flexo wrote about MissingMoney.com. I had heard about it once before through a friend on Twitter who said he’d had some success and so I figured, “What have I got to lose?” They don’t charge anything, it’s just a convenient way to get at some abandoned money that should be yours in the first place.

I searched for myself in the three different states in which I’ve lived and found an entry tied to an old street address of mine for “More than $100″. I had to continue the process on a different site for that State, but since all they really needed was my name, it wasn’t that much of a hassle, and I never felt I was being scammed.

clear-visionIn my case the funds I was missing out on were submitted by Daimler Chrysler, which means it had something to do with the aftermath of totaling my car back in 2001. Ultimately, in order to claim the missing money, I needed to mail (or submit via a form on a Web page) some proof that I used to live at that address. Something like a utility bill or a bank statement. I don’t keep those sorts of things any longer than I have to, which to me means, “throw away as soon as you’re not using them anymore.”

However, crashing your car isn’t just an event, it’s a process that can go on, at a minimum, for weeks. A lot of paperwork is generated. I started keeping everything in a folder so I could prove the facts of the case at a moment’s notice. I figured seven years is a good amount of time to hang on to something that important, so in 2008, while pruning the filing cabinet, I very nearly got rid of the folder. Luckily, something stopped me, and a few months later, I was able to scan and e-mail the actual police report that described the accident, and included my address.

A couple of weeks later I got a check for $155. Naturally, I deposited it and made a $155 payment to one of my two remaining credit cards. If I’d received that money when I was supposed to in 2001… well, I can’t say exactly what I would’ve done with it, but some of it probably would’ve gone toward beer.

(Photo by C.P. Storm)

Updated July 31, 2008 and originally published May 23, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar SingleGuyMoney

I need to check and see if I have any money hanging out there somewhere. Maybe it will be millions and millions…LOL!

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avatar Frugal Babe

That’s great that you got some money you didn’t even know was yours – and I guess it’s a good thing that it waited seven years to come back to you so that you could use it to pay down debt instead of buying beer :)

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