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Gallagher Announces Workshops to Educate Businesses, Offices about State’s Unclaimed Property Laws


Tami Torres or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE— Last year, the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property, returned a record $99 million in unclaimed cash and property to 176,000 owners or heirs.  But Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher wants to do more to make sure unclaimed property is returned to the rightful owners or heirs.
Gallagher has organized a series of workshops this summer to educate businesses and government offices about Florida's unclaimed property laws. 
"If the state has the responsibility to collect unclaimed property, then we must make sure that all unclaimed property is being reported to us," Gallagher said.  "Yes, people move and forget about a safe deposit box or their utility deposit, but people also lose track of their property through company mergers and buyouts and I want to make sure that no Floridian loses their property due to company practices."
The dates for the workshops are June 14, 2005 in Orlando; June 23, 2005 in Tampa; June 29, 2005 in Fort Lauderdale; and July 12, 2005 in Jacksonville.  For more information about the workshops, log onto and click on events.
The money or property reported to the state comes mostly from bank accounts, insurance policies, uncashed checks, business accounts or safe deposit boxes.  The department advertises a 24-hour website where people can search for unclaimed property for themselves or family and friends. 
Cash that is unclaimed is deposited into the state's education trust fund, and every year the department holds a public auction to sell property that has remained unclaimed for at least three years.  This year's auction is scheduled for July 30 at the Wyndham Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.  Auction proceeds also are deposited into the education trust fund and can be claimed at any time.
The department is currently holding unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $1 billion.  Owners or their heirs can claim the cash or property for free by logging on to or by calling 1-88-VALUABLE (1-888-258-2253).