CFO Atwater Announces Unclaimed Property Auction Raises More Than $1 Million for Public Schools
Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the 2013 Unclaimed Property Auction held on Saturday in Tampa was the second-highest-grossing auction in the 52-year history of Florida’s unclaimed property program, drawing more than 300 attendees, including 220 bidders, and raising $1.16 million for Florida’s public schools.
“I thank everyone who put the auction together and more importantly, to thank the team at the Bureau of Unclaimed Property who work tirelessly everyday to reunite Floridians with their unclaimed dollars or property,” said CFO Atwater. “I encourage everyone to frequently check our website to see if they have unclaimed property. It is our goal to give back to Floridians what rightfully belongs to them.”
CFO Atwater opened as guest auctioneer, selling several featured items such as a 1776 Continental Note and one 1876 gold pocket watch. All of the auctioned items were from abandoned safe deposit boxes at Florida financial institutions.
Unclaimed money, including the earnings from auctions, is deposited into the state school fund, where, until claimed, it is used for public education. There is no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property at any time at no cost.
In his first 28 months in office, CFO Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property has seen record returns, reuniting more than 850,000 owners, heirs and businesses with more than 520 million including a record-high $24.7 million in June 2011 alone.
The next auction will be held August 23-24 at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton. To look for or claim unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or 850-413-5555.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud. 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.