Department of Revenue: Rise in unclaimed property

You may have more money than you think for holiday shopping or January clearance sales this year, thanks to all the unclaimed property newly reported to the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Businesses are required to report unclaimed paychecks, deposits, refunds, escrow proceeds and similar items to the Department by Nov. 1 of each year, and the Department received a substantial amount this year, Unclaimed Property Manager Patti Wilson said.
“We’re still processing it all, but we expect it to total close to $100 million involving 500,000 or more names” she said.
And that’s on top of $500 million owed to more than 3 million people already in the searchable online database,
“Odds are now one-in-two that you already have money coming, or will have it coming as we add these new names to the database over the next few months,” she said. “So keep checking through the holiday shopping season and into early next year.”
In January, the Department will begin mailing claim forms to the last known addresses of those among the 500,000 new names with $75 or more in unclaimed property.
It pays to keep checking. Bruce Bleckert of Tacoma recently received $4,035 on two claims. He had checked for unclaimed property previously under his name, but these claims were under his wife’s name.
Businesses have been reporting more unclaimed property the last several years due to increased educational and enforcement efforts by the Department. The improved reporting, coupled with the Department’s promotion of online claims searching and processing systems, allowed it to return a record $39.4 million to more than 82,000 claimants in fiscal year 2007.
In addition to searching, or, Washington residents who have lived in other states also should check, operated by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.