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Washington D.C. has $250 million in unclaimed property.

It seems as if there isn’t enough money to go around sometimes. The flip side to this is that there is money sitting waiting to be claimed. Read on to find out how the Capitol is uniting the people with money.

For over 25 years, the district has accumulated $250 million in unclaimed property. About one-fifth of the owners are found each year.

Locked in an electronically secured vault on K Street are mounds of items that are now handled by the District of Columbia Department of Unclaimed Property. The property has come from banks, corporations, trading companies, hospitals and nursing homes, all required by law to send the city items whose owners have left behind and not come forward to claim.

The unclaimed property agency has about three years, by law, to unite the found property with the owners before it can sell the goods on eBay. The online auctions, which started last year, are a lucrative approach that has brought the department thousands of bids and sold some items for 15 times their appraised value, said Elliott Kindred, the department’s director.

In the past nine months, the department has received $12.4 million worth of unclaimed property, adding to the more than $100 million in goods it already had.

How do you know if you are a rightful owner? Twice a year a list of owners is published as a thick advertising insert in newspapers. This is the agency’s first legal step toward trying to reunite owners with their lost money. You can also do a Web search at www.CashUnclaimed.com. This company’s site includes all state and federal databases for a complete search.

The biggest claim that Mr. Kindred has returned was a $1.2 million certificate of deposit which he turned over to a relative of the owner, who had died.

Mr. Kindred is meticulous about processing claims. His vault is a treasure trove which can attract dishonest people. Therefore a claim form asks for identification, addresses, proof of ownership or relationship to the last known owner. After identity checks and, in some cases, a personal meeting, the property is released within 30 days.

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When you perform a free trial search on CashUnclaimed.com we display the total dollar amount in unclaimed funds that we show reported by the appropriate government agencies. This does not guarantee that this money is 100% absolutely yours. What it means is that there is that total dollar amount shown by government agencies under your name and common variations of your name at the last time we had the information available to us was reported as unclaimed and is able to have a claim form submitted to be paid that amount. For more information please read our terms of use by clicking the link above.