Unclaimed Property Day is back to return money to Washingtonians

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On Feb. 1, the Department of Revenue is partnering with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) for annual Unclaimed Property Day.

This event is aimed at raising awareness of unclaimed property nationwide and encouraging people to search for and claim their lost money.

“The chance that you or someone you know has unclaimed property is 1 in 7,” said Patti Wilson, Unclaimed Property Administrator for the state of Washington, and President of NAUPA. “Much better odds than winning the lottery!”

Nearly 33 million people in the United States – 1 in every 7 – has unclaimed property: financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years.

When that happens, and the company cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards.

The Washington State Department of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property (UCP) program had its most successful year to date, breaking records across the board. UCP returned an all-time high of $138.9 million in unclaimed property back to thousands of Washingtonians. Compared to $89.4 million in 2022, that is an almost $50 million increase in one year.

More money was also reported by holders than ever before. Holders reported a record $322 million in unclaimed property, up more than $75 million from $246.5 million the prior year.

Additionally, UCP launched the Money Match Program in January 2023, which automatically returns unclaimed property to Washingtonians after verifying ownership, without requiring an owner to file a claim or submit documentation. So far, the Money Match Program has issued 9,104 checks for a total of $1.2 million.

“While many people say, ‘I know where all my money is,’ you would be surprised how many times they search their name and find they have money owed to them,” Wilson commented. “Searching your name is free and only takes a few minutes at Claimyourcash.org.”

To check whether you have unclaimed property, visit Washington’s unclaimed property website, claimyourcash.org. If your name or the name of your business or organization comes up, you will be directed on how to begin the claim process.

You also can visit Unclaimed.org/search to look for unclaimed property in other states.

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