Unclaimed Property - you may be richer than you think! - Washington State Department of Revenue
 
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FAQs

Heir Finders/Asset Locators

Q. Does the Department sell the unclaimed property listing?

  • You may search our owner listing on the Internet.
  • RCW 42.56.070 (9) prohibits the Department from giving or selling lists of individuals when it will be used for commercial purposes.

Q. Will the Department discloses the property values?

  • No. RCW 63.29.380 prohibits the Department from disclosing the unclaimed property values to anyone other than the owner or their representative.

Q. Can heir finders or asset locators charge for expenses in excess of the five- percent limit?

Q. How does the state attempt to contact the owners?

  • The Unclaimed Property Database is available on the Internet.
  • Annual advertising in newspapers.
  • Notices are mailed to owners at their last known address.
  • Publicity on the television, radio, and in newspapers.
  • The Department also has a full-time employee who acts as a owner locator who utilizes internet databases to locate owners.

Q. Will the Department pay the heir finder's fee?

  • No. The Department will only pay the legal owner of the funds. Heir finders are responsible for collecting their fee from the owners.

Q. Do all states impose a five-percent finder's fee?

  • No. Most states have a higher limit.

Q. Will the Department research owner's property for heir finders?

  • The Department will provide you with the information only if you furnish authorization from the legal owner.

Q. What if the owner will not pay the heir finder's fee?

  • The contract you have with the owner may permit legal actions, but you must initiate it.

Q. How much money can I make finding owners of unclaimed property?

  • Each year approximately 75% of the accounts reported have a value of less than $100.

Q. Can you furnish addresses for other state's unclaimed property offices?

Q. Are hard copies of the Unclaimed Property listings available?

  • No, copies are not available.
  • We provide our owner listing for search over the Internet.
  • RCW 42.56.070 (9) prohibits the Department from giving or selling lists of individuals when it will be used for commercial purposes.

Q. How long does it take to get a claim paid?

  • It takes up to 60 days for monetary claims. Stock claims usually take up to 30 days longer.
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