OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state has unclaimed cash or items belonging to more than one million Washington residents. That's about one in seven people in the state, according to the Department of Revenue.
The overwhelming majority of holdings are from old bank accounts or stock options. The state also retains valuables once stored in safety deposit boxes.
The Department of Revenue takes items from banks after a safety deposit box has been unpaid or abandoned for five years. By law, the items have to be auctioned off within five years if the state can't locate the rightful owners. The proceeds are then held in accounts under the owners’ names.
State locator Frank Marshall has been reuniting people with their money and property for 17 years.
“I think I’m really blessed to do the work that I do,” said Marshall.
He said the owners are usually surprised and always grateful.
“It belongs to you,” Marshall said. “I’m just doing my job.”