CFO Jeff Atwater finds more than $199,000 in unclaimed property for South Florida residents during phone bank event
Submitted by Anna Alexopoulos
TALLAHASSEE, FL —Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jeff Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property returned more than $199,319 to 797 consumers recently during a phone bank event for South Florida and Treasure Coast residents. In the 12 hours after the phone bank, the Unclaimed Property website had 6,949 visits to the website.
“During tough economic times, every extra dollar back in the hands of Floridians can make a big difference financially,” said CFO Atwater. “I am proud of my staff at the Bureau of Unclaimed Property who works every day to reunite Floridians with the money that rightfully belongs to them. Through partnerships with the media we can continue to spread the word about our unclaimed property database.”
Since taking office in January 2011, CFO Atwater has returned more than $375 million to Floridians. Unclaimed Property accounts and values for South Florida as of November 2012 included:
Indian River County 68,804 accounts $8,571,190
Martin County 133,235 accounts $15,775,839
Okeechobee County 16,270 accounts $1,643,181
Palm Beach County 905,403 accounts $124,455,931
St. Lucie County 154,590 accounts $16,367,786
The Unclaimed Property database also contains accounts for local governments, school districts and law enforcement agencies.
Currently, the CFO holds unclaimed property accounts valued at more than one billion dollars, mostly from dormant accounts in financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, securities and trust holdings. In addition to money and securities, unclaimed property includes tangible property such as watches, jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, historical items and other miscellaneous articles from abandoned safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed money is deposited into the state school fund, where it is used for public education. There is, however, no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property at any time at no cost.
Consumers can search for Unclaimed Property by accessing the Department’s website at www.FLTreasureHunt.org or by calling (888) 258-2253 or (850) 413-5555.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, 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 capital, and ensuing transparency and account-ability in spending.