Washington State the Latest to Announce Unclaimed Funds
The idea of unclaimed funds is something that dates back generations. People unaware that they're owed an inheritance, or some sort of tax rebate, etc, goes back a very long way. Generally speaking, few people knew about this genre of unclaimed funds. After all, who really believes that there's free money floating around out there with their name on it? For most people, that's more of a pipe dream than a reality. However, unclaimed funds are very real, and millions of additional people are checking for them constantly now that America's economy is really struggling. As of Thursday, Nov 3, Washington State became the latest state to announce that they're holding millions upon millions of dollars in their Treasury department, and so they're asking people to check in to see if that money belongs to them.
New York, Vermont and Virginia are just a few of the many states this year to announce that they're holding a lot of money and property in their Treasury departments, and so far state governments have handed over billions in total to people who had no idea they were owed anything. From houses and land in people's names to unclaimed stimulus funds and insurance rebates, it's been a blessing for tens of thousands of Americans so far. If you live in Washington currently, or were ever a resident of the state, stop by the DotGov official state website and enter your name. It's entirely free to do and you won't be contacted in any way unless you are owed some funds.
The thing about these unclaimed funds is that your name doesn't necessarily have to be on a check or a land deed in order to receive the property or funds. In a whole lot of cases, relatives die and don't have a will, and the state (at least as of yet) is not legally entitled to keep anyone's private property. However, they're also not in the habit of reaching out and searching for people's long lost relatives or any of their family members. So, what happens is that this money and property just sits in limbo, while the Treasury department makes some note of it. In times like these, states really want to spur their economies, and so they're trying to entice people to contact them and to claim these properties and funds. They won't reach out to you, but they also want this stuff moved along quickly, and so they're not going to complicate the process either.
Just be warned that there are serious penalties for people who lie about their names or relations just to claim some of this property. You could even end up facing jail time if you tried to claim property that wasn't legally yours. This has been a big issue in a few other states, and it really just slows the process down for everyone else.
Check Your State Often
Even if you don't live in Washington State and never have, that in no way means that you still can't get your hands on unclaimed property. Just check with your state. Every single state in America has a DotGov site and a treasury department, and every single state has the same policy on unclaimed funds and property, insofar as the government isn't allowed to just seize it. So, if it's available, it will be there waiting. When states like Washington and Virginia make these announcements, it's because (a) there's a lot of property that's backed up in the Treasury, and (b) they're trying to spur along some economic activity and figure that people having access to more money is a boon for their state's economy. There is certainly no guarantee that you will find anything belonging to you, but it doesn't hurt at all to check. You just never know.
You can also check periodically to make sure nothing else has come up in your name. The federal government has spent many trillions of dollars since 2020, and tens of millions of Americans did not receive all of their stimulus checks, and some people even have grants out there in their name that they applied for and then completely forgot. These things aren't always known by a Treasury office until the office is notified or they discover the mistake in-house, at which point your name might be one of the lucky ones owed funds or property. Don't quit your day job, of course, but also don't ignore this opportunity.