10/22/2014

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Millions of your dollars go unclaimed in Washington every year

Millions of your dollars go unclaimed in Washington every year

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Millions of dollars is out there being held by the state - and some of it could be yours. You've heard stories about unclaimed money. Well, that total goes up every year.

About $140 million went unclaimed in Washington last year. Roughly $2 million of that belonging to people here in Yakima County. Forgotten paychecks, security deposits, stocks and bank accounts. You can find out if any of it is yours with a few clicks online.

KIMA checked out the Department of Revenue's Claim Your Cash Web page. All you have to do is enter your name and hit "Search." KIMA tried a few names of people from the community. When we saw they had money waiting for them, KIMA surprised them with the news.

"I think it's great, you know, with all the bills and all the tax assessments and everything that I see, to see that there's some money at the end of the rainbow is pretty exciting," said Joe Mann, a Yakima business owner.

"That's fantastic," said Mike Issacs from Yakima.
 "Is that good news?" asked KIMA.
"That is very good news," said Issacs.

"I had no idea there was even such a thing out there," said Randy Beehler, Yakima Community Relations Manager.

They're not the only ones who have money waiting. In fact, more cash is left behind every year.

KIMA pulled the numbers. In Yakima County, unclaimed property increased by $1.14 million in 2011, $1.5 million in 2012 and almost $2 million last year. The numbers in Kittitas County rose by smaller increments over the same span.

Searching is free. And, check a few different ways: using nicknames, maiden names and various spellings. Of course once you find you have money, you'll want to collect. File a claim online or by mail. So, what to do with this found money?

"I have no idea. Probably something fun like college tuition, since I have two kids in college," said Joe Mann.

"Cool, that's like two movies and maybe a couple beers," said Randy Beehler.

Right now, more than $17 million is waiting to be claimed in Yakima County, almost $3 million in Kittitas county.

Organizations turn over unclaimed property to the state after losing touch with the owner for about three years. It's worth checking regularly.

And, some people have come away with more than just movie money. The Department of Revenue told me someone in Puget Sound recently made a claim for $2 million and collected.

Check here to see if you have unclaimed money.

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