Time to Check Again: Nearly $87 Million, 410,000 Names Added to State’s Unclaimed Property Database

OLYMPIA, Wash., April 1, 2010 — No fooling, your odds of finding unclaimed property just went up.

Even if you didn’t find any unclaimed property at http://claimyourcash.org the last time you looked, it’s time to check again, because another $86.7 million owed to 410,000 individuals recently was added to the Department of Revenue’s online searchable database, bringing the total available to $750 million.

Checking back worked for residents such as KOMO TV reporter and KPLZ morning host Kent Phillips, who learned last week he had a $1,414 insurance premium rebate to claim, and KZOK sales representative Mickey Mansell, who found she had $1,413 coming from a bank.  Thousands of others are also filing claims. Last year, the Department paid $45 million to nearly 88,000 claimants.

“I thought I’d just won the lottery!” Mansell declared, adding that several co-workers at the radio station also found unclaimed property.

A newsroom co-worker surprised Phillips with the good news, a year after he’d already filed a smaller claim with the Department.

"Are you serious? This isn't a joke?" Phillips said. “$1,400? That's cool!"

With more than three million names now in the database, the odds are 50-50 that you or someone you know has money coming too, Revenue Director Cindi Holmstrom said.  She encourages citizens and businesses to check back every spring after new properties are entered into the system.

Every November, businesses are required by law to report any unclaimed property that they have held for at least three years and have been unable to return to rightful owners. This includes unclaimed paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, refunds, stocks and bonds, and contents from safe deposit boxes, among other lost property.

The Department has added all that property to the database, and has mailed claim forms to the last known addresses of anyone with at least $75 coming, but many of the addresses it receives from businesses are outdated and the money continues to go unclaimed. That is where the online database can literally pay dividends to anyone who searches it, Holmstrom said.

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