Heir Finder/Asset Locator
What is an heir finder/asset locator?
Heir finders and asset locators help reunite owners with their property for a fee. Consumer protection agencies advise that legitimate businesses do not expect payment until the property is returned to the owner. Be suspicious of anyone who tries to charge a fee before you receive your property, or tries to charge a fee other than a percentage of the money to be returned to you. No one may charge a fee greater than five percent for property reported to the state of Washington . This fee limit applies to all services conducted by the locator.
All heir finders and asset locators must be registered to do business in the state of Washington. If you have concerns about an heir finder or asset locator, contact your Better Business Bureau. or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
You may want to look for property yourself before contracting with a third party.
The following conditions apply to asset locators:
- Obtain a Unified Business Identifier (UBI) from the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service and complete any licensing requirements that may apply. When filing a claim provide a notarized affidavit signed by the unclaimed property owner authorizing the agent to act as the owner s representative. A statement must be included on the affidavit that it is unlawful for any person to receive a fee or compensation in excess of five percent of the value of recovered property and that the owner is aware of such limitations. The agent understands that the Department will send funds directly to the owner and that the agent is responsible for collecting their fee from the owner.
NOTE: The Federal Freedom of Information Act does not apply to State government.
Law RCW 42.56.070 prohibits the Department from giving or selling our unclaimed property owner list for commercial purposes.