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Going Once, Going Twice, Sold: Ft. Lauderdale Lands Statewide Unclaimed Property Auction This Fall

8/3/2009

MEDIA ADVISORY: August 3, 2009     
CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, (850) 413-2842
                                                           
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD:
FT. LAUDERDALE LANDS STATEWIDE UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AUCTION THIS FALL
More than 40,000 Items Including Jewelry, Watches, and Rare Coins will be Auctioned Off
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced plans for her Bureau of Unclaimed Property’s Statewide Auction, an annual sell-off of unclaimed safe deposit box contents turned over to the state. The auction, which is open to the public, will be held October 24, 2009, in Ft. Lauderdale at the Embassy Suites Hotel. A public preview of the items up for bid will be held Friday, October 23.
 
In October, more than 40,000 individual items, including jewelry, watches, and rare coins, with a value in excess of $500,000, will be sold.  Featured items up for auction include a 13-carat brilliant-cut diamond ring, a Longines diamond and platinum pocket watch, and a 1934 $1,000 bill.  A free catalog of the items up for bid will soon be available on the Bureau's website. Participation in the auction requires registration and a refundable $100 deposit. Details about the October Unclaimed Property auction are now available at www.fltreasurehunt.org/Auction.jsp.
 
“We are so excited to bring this year’s Unclaimed Property Auction to Ft. Lauderdale this fall and, in the meantime, I encourage all Floridians to visit FLTreasureHunt.org and see what property they may have waiting,” said CFO Sink.  “I am especially proud that in these tough economic times our Bureau of Unclaimed Property has been able to return record amounts through a diligent, proactive, and business-like approach to seeking owners and responding to citizens.”
 
During Alex Sink’s tenure as CFO, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has seen record returns, reuniting owners, heirs and businesses with more than one-third of all money returned since the beginning of the program, due largely to aggressive efforts to contact owners.  CFO Sink’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property returned a record $173 million in unclaimed property for the 2008-2009 Fiscal Year -- the largest amount in state history.  Since the program’s inception 48 years ago, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has successfully reunited owners or relatives of deceased owners with more than $1.4 billion in unclaimed property held in Florida.
 
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property is currently holding 8.8 million accounts, mostly from dormant accounts in financial institutions, unclaimed utility deposits, insurance benefits, premium refunds, uncashed checks and trust accounts.  It also holds watches, jewelry, coins, stamps and historical items from abandoned safe deposit boxes, some of which will be sold in October’s auction. Unclaimed property can be claimed for free at any time by the rightful owners or heirs by logging on to www.FLTreasureHunt.org or by calling the Bureau at 1-888-VALUABLE.
 
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