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More than $2 billion owed to Australians in unclaimed cash

Billions of dollars owed to Australians is sitting dormant in government and company accounts, waiting to be claimed by unwitting residents across the country.

Money recovery firm Nationwide Claims Service said the sheer volume of the unclaimed finances was staggering.

Millions of Australians are unaware the money is owed, which is sitting in government departments such as ASIC, in the form of expired life insurance policies, deceased estates, refunds, company shares, and bank accounts.

A change of name or address can be the cause for the unclaimed money from 10 different Australian government departments, as can the death of an estranged family member.

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Nationwide Claims Service has pulled all the data from the departments on to its website, findunclaimedmoney.com.au, to allow Australians to check if money is owed.

Some have few dollars sitting dormant, while some have a huge pool of cash waiting to be claimed.

Camera IconFunds from sold deceased estates are sitting unclaimed. Toby Zerna Credit: News Corp Australia

According to the firm, an Aron Feldman is owed a staggering $3.5 million while the estate of Maria Okinczyc has left behind more than $1 million for her unwitting family.

All up, a whopping $2.23 billion is waiting to be claimed, Nationwide Claims Service director Maurice Pratt told NCA NewsWire.

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“Unclaimed money can come from an old bank account, deceased estate, rental bonds, share dividends, security deposits, refunds or any situation where the government or business who owes you money,” he said.

“They are required to give the funds to one of the government departments who holds those funds in trust accounts, waiting for the owner to claim it back.”

Mr Pratt said the billions of dollars will be held by the government until the owners of the cash apply for the funds.

“The government will not contact you to tell you there is money owing to you,” he said. “It is up to you to go looking for it.”

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