State returned $26M in unclaimed property to Floridians in July

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More than $1.7B in unclaimed property has been returned to Floridians since 2017.

The state returned more than $26 million in unclaimed property to Floridians in July, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced.

“That’s an amazing injection of cash into Florida’s communities and it’s my mission to continue to return every cent of unclaimed property back to its rightful owner,” Patronis said in a statement.

“This month, our team will host an auction in Tampa on Aug. 27 to garner top dollar for lost or abandoned items in Florida’s unclaimed property vault. Until claimed, the state is proudly putting these dollars to work for Florida’s students by funding vital public education programs.”

Miami received the most money with over $6.7 million, followed by Tampa and St. Pete ($5.3 million), Orlando ($4.3 million), West Palm Beach ($3.5 million), Tallahassee ($1.8 million), Fort Myers and Naples ($1.5 million), and Jacksonville ($1.2 million).

A financial asset that is lost or unclaimed by its owner constitutes as unclaimed property. According to the CFO’s Office, that includes dormant bank accounts, unclaimed insurance proceeds, stocks, uncashed checks, deposits, credit balances and refunds.

Chapter 717 of Florida Statutes requires businesses or government entities to hold unclaimed property assets for up to five years.

Patronis’ Office said in a news release that more than $1.7 billion in unclaimed property has been returned to Floridians since he took office in 2017.

According to FLTreasureHunt.gov, holders of unclaimed property are required to locate the owner. If they are unable to, they must report and remit it to the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Unclaimed Property.

“Unclaimed funds are deposited into the State School Fund and used to support public schools,” the website states. “However, the original amount reported can always be claimed by the owner, or his/her heirs, at no cost.”

The unclaimed property auction will be held at the Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore Airport on Aug. 27. Up for bidding are 433 lots including money, coins, jewelry, gold and watches.

Unclaimed property can be found at FLTreasureHunt.gov.

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