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Unclaimed Money

What is Unclaimed Money in the District of Columbia?

Unclaimed money refers to any type of financial asset that has been left unclaimed or forgotten by its rightful owner. This can include things like uncashed paychecks, forgotten bank accounts, or unclaimed life insurance benefits.

In Washington, D.C., there are a few different statutes that pertain to unclaimed money. The first is the Unclaimed Property Act, which outlines the process for how state agencies must handle any unclaimed property they come across. This act also establishes a central database where all unclaimed property in the state of Washington, D.C. must be reported.

The second statute is the District of Columbia's Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (DC code section 41-101 et seq.). This act provides a uniform set of rules for how unclaimed property must be handled by all states. Under this act, all states must report any unclaimed property they come across to a central database.

Per this statute, funds, securities and other unclaimed property must be escheated with the DC Office of Finance and Treasury after the required dormancy period has been satisfied. The dormancy period for most types of property is three years.

The escheatment process requires the generation of a report which must contain the name and last known address of the owner, a description of the property, and the date the property was acquired. The DC Office of Finance and Treasury will then hold onto this unclaimed property until the rightful owner comes forward to claim it.

How to Find Unclaimed Money in District of Columbia

Interested members of the public may search for Washington DC unclaimed money by visiting the office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). The OCFO is tasked with holding and managing unclaimed property for District residents.

Individuals may also search for unclaimed money online through the Washington DC Unclaimed Property Database. In order to search the database, individuals must provide their name, address, and information pertaining to the property.

If an individual believes they are owed unclaimed money from the District of Columbia, they may file a claim with the OCFO. In order to process a claim, the OCFO will require proof of identity and residency, as well as documentation supporting the claim. Once a claim is filed, it will be reviewed by OCFO staff and, if approved, a check will be mailed to the claimant.

In person, mail or email requests may be made to:

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Suite 203,
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 727-2476
Fax: (202) 727-1643
Email: ocfo@dc.gov

How Do I Find District of Columbia Unclaimed Money for Free?

The office of the Finance and Treasury’s Unclaimed Property provides information regarding unclaimed property at no cost. Interested persons may contact the unit by phone at (202) 442-8181.

State residents can also access unclaimed money through the following federal agencies:

  • U.S. Courts: Unclaimed Funds Following Bankruptcy
    Persons who have been involved in a US bankruptcy case may be entitled to unclaimed funds. These funds come from a variety of sources, including the sale of assets, payment for services rendered, or other forms of compensation. The court may hold these funds for a period of time before distributing them to the rightful owners.
    Eligible persons may claim these funds in the following steps:

    • Locate the case number and file number. This information is available from the court that handled the bankruptcy case
    • Contact the clerk of the court to inquire about any unclaimed funds associated with the case.
    • Complete any necessary paperwork to claim the funds. This may include a proof of identity and a release of liability form.
    • Submit the paperwork to the clerk of the court for review.
    • If approved, the claimant will receive a check for the unclaimed funds.
  • Credit Union Unclaimed Shares
    Persons who are entitled to unclaimed shares in a credit union may claim them through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA is a federal government agency that insures credit union deposits and provides assistance to credit unions.

    To claim unclaimed shares, the claimant must submit a written request to the NCUA. The request must include the following information:

    • The name of the credit union from which the shares are being claimed
    • The account number associated with the shares
    • The Social Security Number or Tax ID Number of the claimant
    • A certified copy of the claimant's driver's license or other government-issued photo identification

Claimants will also be required to sign an affidavit attesting to their entitlement to the shares. The NCUA may require additional documentation or information from claimants as necessary.

Once a claim is received, the NCUA will review it and determine whether the claimant is entitled to the shares. If the claim is approved, the NCUA will issue a check for the value of the shares to the claimant.

Credit union unclaimed shares can be claimed by contacting the NCUA at:

National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Email: info@ncua.gov

How to Claim Unclaimed Money in District of Columbia

Interested members of the public may follow the below process to claim unclaimed money from the District of Columbia:

  • Individuals should first contact the Office of Finance and Treasury's Unclaimed Property Unit by phone at (202) 442-818. Alternatively, the claimant may submit claims through the Washington DC find your unclaimed money web portal.
  • On the website, individuals will find a searchable database of unclaimed money. They can search for their name or the name of a business to see if any unclaimed funds are owed to them.
  • If an individual finds that they are owed unclaimed money, they will need to fill out a claim form which can then be mailed or faxed to the office of the OCFO at:

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Suite 203,
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 727-2476
Fax: (202) 727-1643
Email: ocfo@dc.gov

If an individual is owed more than $1,000 in unclaimed money, they may be required to provide additional documentation to support their claim. The office will review all claims and determine if the claimant is eligible to receive the unclaimed funds.

How Long Does It Take to Get Unclaimed Money in the District of Columbia?

The length of time it takes to process an unclaimed money/property claim in the District of Columbia varies depending on the type of claim and the amount of money involved. Generally, it takes longer to process a claim for a large sum of money than it does for a small sum.

This time limit may also be impacted by the number of claims received by the District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In some cases, it may take up to six months to process a claim.

Who Can Claim Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives in the District of Columbia?

The biological relatives of a deceased property owner or their estate executor may make a claim for their unclaimed property or money. If there is a court-appointed estate representative, they may also be eligible to claim the property.

The following documents are typically required to process the claim for a deceased’s unclaimed property:

  • Death Certificate
  • Letters of Administration or Small Estate Papers.
  • Copy of photo ID of person claiming the funds
  • Proof of address or ownership connecting the owner to the fund

In order to obtain the required Letters of Administration, claimants must contact the Probate Division at:

D.C. Superior Court
Probate Division
515 5th St.
3rd floor
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 879-9448

Death certificates may also be obtained from the office of vital records at:

Office of Vital Records
899 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-5955
Fax: (202) 442-4795
Email: doh@dc.gov

What Happens to District of Columbia Unclaimed Money if No One Claims It?

In most cases, the state will hold onto unclaimed property indefinitely as there is no deadline for claiming unclaimed property or money in the District of Columbia. All unclaimed money or property is typically maintained in a custodian capacity until its rightful owner or the heir is found.

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