State refunds more than $400 million in unclaimed cash

The Bellingham Business Journal

Over 55 years, the unclaimed property division of the state Department of Revenue (DOR) has collected more than $1.1 billion in unclaimed property and has refunded more than a third of that to residents. As of Aug. 1, approximately $417 million had been refunded.

Once a year businesses are required to report to the state any unclaimed property held for at least three years. It can include a variety of items, such as paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, retailer refunds, equities, securities, and other lost property.

About 3 million names – including those of familiar public figures and business leaders – are on unclaimed property lists at, which can be easily searched by the public.

For fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30, the department processed 98,362 claims valued at more than $44.5 million, which is a increase in the number of claimants from 2009 when more than 88,000 claims were processed, totaling $45 million. In fiscal year 2008, about 75,000 claims were paid worth $38.7 million.

More than $750 million is still available for refunds.


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