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Florida Unclaimed Property Program Nearing $1 Billion in Returns Under CFO Atwater’s Leadership

5/6/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413- 2842
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Unclaimed Property will soon cross a record-breaking threshold of $1 billion in funds returned under the leadership of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. This remarkable program milestone is due to extensive proactive outreach efforts aimed at reconnecting lost valuables and unclaimed funds held in dormant accounts with their rightful owner. This $1 billion in returns during CFO Atwater’s tenure represent nearly 40% of all funds returned during the program’s 50-year history.
 
“Whether we’re holding a $50 deposit from a now-closed utility account or $1000 from a forgotten savings account, it’s your money - and it’s our job to get it back to you,” said CFO Atwater. “One in five Floridians have unclaimed property in their name, and I encourage all Floridians to visit our website to search for lost treasure of their own.”
 
Since its inception in 1961, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has successfully processed nearly four million individual claims, returning more than $2.5 billion back to Floridians. While millions of owners have been successfully reunited with their unclaimed property, the bureau currently holds millions of individual accounts waiting to be claimed. These remaining accounts are valued at more than $1 billion.
 
Property can become unclaimed for many reasons. Often times, unclaimed funds originate from dormant accounts at financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, securities and trust holdings, as well as tangible items from abandoned safety deposit boxes. Florida law requires companies to turn over dormant accounts to the Department of Financial Services after a specified dormancy period, where the Department works proactively to reunite the funds or property with the appropriate account holder or their legally-entitled heir.
 
To search for unclaimed property or to claim an account, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE (888) 258-2253 or (850) 413-5555.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, 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. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).