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CFO Jeff Atwater’s Division of Consumer Services Expands Spanish-Speaking Assistance to Unclaimed Property Helpline

7/7/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert 
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today that he is expanding the availability of Spanish-speaking staff to the Department of Financial Services’ Unclaimed Property Helpline.

The Unclaimed Property Helpline assists Floridians searching for unclaimed cash or property that the state may be holding for them from dormant accounts or abandoned safe deposit boxes.   The toll-free helpline, at 1-88-VALUABLE (888-258-2253) or (850) 413-5555, is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is a service provided by the department’s Division of Consumer Services.

“This is one more step in our top goal to enhance the services we provide to all Floridians and will help put dollars back into the pockets of their rightful owners,” said CFO Atwater. 

The Division of Consumer Services handles an average of 20,000 callers per month on insurance and financial matters, including unclaimed property.  In addition, the unclaimed property website, www.FLTreasureHunt.org, gives users the option of translating content and searches to Spanish.

Currently, CFO Atwater’s department holds unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $1 billion, mostly from dormant accounts in financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, securities and trust holdings. In addition to money and securities, unclaimed property includes tangible property such as watches, jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, historical items and other miscellaneous articles from abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Unclaimed money is deposited into the state school fund, where it is used for public education. There is, however, no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property any time at no cost.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.