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District Has Millions of Dollars Worth of Unclaimed Goods to Return to Rightful Owners

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

District Has Millions of Dollars Worth of Unclaimed Goods to Return to Rightful Owners

During the past six months, the Office of Finance and Treasury has collected unclaimed property totaling more than $3.5 million, including at least 250,000 shares of stocks.

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia Office of Finance and Treasury released its most recent list of unclaimed property, collected during the past six months, which totals more than $3.5 million and includes at least 250,000 shares of stocks. The dollar value of individual checks range from $3.30 to more than $189,000 for 7,124 individuals and businesses. To increase the public's awareness about these assets, an advertisement will appear in The Washington Post on August 28. The Washington Times published the list on August 21, and supplemental advertisements promoting the District's unclaimed property website will also appear in East of the River, Hill Rag and Washington Informer.

"It is the District government's goal to reunite people with their assets through our unclaimed property program," said District Treasurer N. Anthony Calhoun.

Unclaimed property consists of money and other personal assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified time frame, usually three years. Abandoned property includes checking accounts, certificates of deposit, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, dividends, insurance payments, money orders, refunds, savings accounts, and stocks. The Office of Finance and Treasury receives unclaimed property from banks, insurance companies, utility companies, hospitals, universities, and other entities.

In addition to semi-annual advertisements, the District has information on how to reclaim assets on its Web site. Residents can search the unclaimed property database, submit an online inquiry form , and learn how to reclaim assets. Claims can be made at any time, since unclaimed property is kept until the rightful owner or heir can be found.

The Unclaimed Property Unit of the Office of Finance and Treasury serves as custodian for unclaimed or abandoned property. The Unclaimed Property Unit can be reached at (202) 442-8181. Representatives from the office are available to attend community meetings, as requested.

The total amount of unclaimed property held by the District government is approximately $180 million.