Unclaimed property consists of money and other personal assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. These assets can include checking accounts, certificates of deposit, customer deposits and over-payments, gift certificates, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, commissions, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, money orders, refunds, savings accounts, stocks, and proceeds of safe deposit box auctions.
After the property holders attempt to locate the owners, the Office of Finance and Treasury's Unclaimed Property Unit collects the assets. It then attempts to find current and former residents to help them claim the assets held in custody for them by the District.
The Office of Finance and Treasury's Unclaimed Property Unit attempts to locate the owners through newspaper advertising, news media campaigns, and a free online search service.
The owners or their legitimate heirs can claim the funds at any time. There is no statute of limitations. Property owners may also conduct a nationwide search using the NAUPA or Missing Money Web sites.
The District of Columbia does not charge a fee for returning property. Signing an agreement to have someone assist in recovering unclaimed property may entail the payment of substantial fees. For more information on how to find unclaimed property, call the Unclaimed Property Unit at (202) 442-8181, email, or review the Web site. This process may reduce fees that a third-party vendor may charge.
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