UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AUCTIONS PLANNED FOR SUMMER
Department continues to pro-actively search for owners and heirs
Two auctions have been scheduled for this summer in Jacksonville and Tampa
to sell an overflow of jewelry, collectibles and historical items that are
fast filling up the state’s unclaimed property vault.
The auctions will be held July 14-15 in Jacksonville and August 25-26 in
Tampa, with proceeds from the auctions to go to Florida’s public schools.
For more information, visit www.fltreasurehunt.org and click on auction.
Since 2003, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees
the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property, has
returned nearly $300 million in cash and property to current or former
Floridians. That’s about one-third of all of the cash and property returned
since the program’s inception in 1961. The department is currently holding
unclaimed property valued at more than $1 billion.
“In the fast pace of modern life, it is easy to forget to collect a last
paycheck, close a bank account, or get a utility deposit back,” Gallagher
said. “But we’ve made it just as easy to find it. With the click of the
mouse or a phone call you might find lost treasure.”
Owners or heirs can claim their cash or property for free by logging on to
www.fltreasurehunt.org or by calling 1-88-VALUABLE (1-888-258-2253.)
Most of the property comes from dormant accounts in financial institutions,
deposits paid to utility companies, insurance premium refunds, un-cashed
payroll checks and trust holdings. In addition to cash and securities, the
state’s holdings include property such as watches, jewelry, coins, stamps
and historical items that are delivered from abandoned safe deposit boxes.
When the owner or heirs cannot be found, unclaimed cash and proceeds from
the auction of unclaimed property are deposited into the State School Trust
Fund, although the money always remains available for the owners or heirs to
To supplement its efforts to locate owners, the department has teamed up
with several news organizations, including Telemundo, WTVJ and Dateline NBC,
and many newspapers, to help bring attention to the program. Tonight, a team
of unclaimed property specialists will be in the studio of WESH-TV in
Orlando taking calls live during the evening news broadcast.
“It is our mission to find the owners or heirs and return this property to
them,” Gallagher said. “In many of these cases, we are returning money or
property to people who really need it. It comes at a time that makes a real
financial difference for them.”