What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed Property is anything negotiable that has monetary value. In the case of the University, most unclaimed property is uncashed checks issued by various departments. State law requires that all checks two years or older be reported to the Department of Revenue. The exception is Payroll checks which must be reported when they are one year old. The checks reported would be dated 6/30 or earlier. Checks issued to California addresses may not be reported to the State of Washington but must be reported directly to the State of California. Checks reported with addresses to other States are passed on to those states by the State of Washington.
What is a Stale check?
Checks which are at least 180 days old (6 months) are considered stale. Tellers in banks will sometimes reject a check if the date is over that limit. This does not prevent a check from clearing the bank when deposited through other means than a teller.
State law requires that a letter of notification be sent to a payee regarding a staledated check. The State law only requires letters to be sent for checks issued for $75.00 or more. This letter must be sent between May and August with a response due date on or before September 30th to enable us to meet the October 31st reporting deadline to the State. The letter should provide several ways for the recipient to respond to the inquiry, by letter, email or FAX.
Checks listed on PAS are issued by the Procurement Services office. If there is a message on the screen stating STALEDATED it means the check has been placed in the staledate suspense account by Banking & Accounting Operations. Due diligence letters are sent by Banking & Accounting Operations for checks issued in the amount of $5.00 or more.
If a check in PAS it notated as staledated it may or may not have been cashed or re-issued. Contact Banking & Accounting Operations to verify whether the check cleared the bank, was cancelled, was reissued or is still unclaimed.
These departments each have their own checking accounts and issue their own due diligence letters. They report their unclaimed property to Banking & Accounting Operations at least once a year. Banking & Accounting Operations stores the information in a database and reports these items to the State at the appropriate time.