Volume 1 Number 25
June 21, 2004





Find out if you have any lost treasure
www.FLtreasurehunt.org .

Call us toll-free at 1- 88 - VALUABLE  (1-888-258-2253).

And make plans to participate in the upcoming auction.   


Millions of dollars in cash deposits, plus all kinds of valuables and collectibles from abandoned safe deposit boxes, are turned in to the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Unclaimed Property each year.   

By law, holders of unclaimed property, such as banks, credit unions, utilities, insurance companies and employers, are required to forward their unclaimed holdings to the state for safekeeping.  The state, in turn, is required to keep the property indefinitely and attempt to locate its owners or their heirs so the property can be returned to them.  It’s a classic example of government taking action to protect the interests of its citizens. 

The vast majority of Florida’s unclaimed property is composed of cash accounts. When turned over to the department, the funds are deposited into Florida’s State School Trust Fund that benefits the state’s public schools.   

Citizens can call, write or log on to the FLDFS website to see if funds are being held for them.

There is no statute of limitations on this property; it will always be available to be claimed by the owners or their heirs. The department attempts to locate owners using various methods.  The most well known is the annual publication of names in newspapers throughout Florida.  The department also locates owners using credit bureau searches, driver license searches, radio and television programs, and by participating in home shows, state fairs, and other community events.  Additionally, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has approximately 3.4 million records on a searchable database, accessible from the Department’s Unclaimed Property Web site - Florida Unclaimed Property . The toll-free telephone number - 1-88-VALUABLE or 1-888-258-2253 - is available for citizens in Florida to contact the department.  Callers outside Florida can reach the Bureau of Unclaimed Property at (850) 410-9253. 

A small percentage of the unclaimed property gets a lot of attention—items left behind in safe deposit boxes. Valuables such as gold doubloons, silver ingots, diamond jewelry, fine watches, rare coins and even autographed baseballs have helped to earn the program’s “Great Florida Treasure Hunt” nickname.  And when our efforts to locate the owners fail, the Bureau holds auctions to convert the items into cash, which is then held indefinitely for the owners or heirs to claim.   

The Department of Financial Services is holding its next Unclaimed Property Auction on July 31, 2004, at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza near the Miami International Airport. Fisher Auction Company will conduct the auction, with catalogued items worth more than $500,000 in estimated minimum required bids. Friday, July 30, 2004, will be Preview Day from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. with a $250 refundable cash deposit and a valid driver license required for entry.  

The state is presently holding more than $1 billion in unclaimed property and that figure is rising steadily.  Although Florida keeps setting records in claim payouts—$88 million has been returned to owners this year—the money comes in at a faster rate than it goes out.   

Find out if you have any lost treasure by visiting our website at www.FLtreasurehunt.org or call us toll-free at 1-88-VALUABLE