Florida is experiencing a rapid growth in its unclaimed money pile, with a most recent estimate putting it at $2 billion. This huge sum of unaccounted money is approximately the combined unclaimed money of 8 million U.S. residents. The state treasury is waiting for the rightful owners to come forward and claim it. Like other states in the U.S, Florida has initiated a number of awareness programs so that word can be spread about the unclaimed money in the state treasury. In 2006, $171 million was returned to its rightful owners. However, the net gain was just $101 million because $70 million was added to the vault.
In addition to the direct awareness programs, online media is also being utilized to make life easier for people who don’t have time or the physical capability to search for their lost funds. As a result of this initiative, a very user-friendly website has been created and claim submission forms are embedded in this site, making it easier for the owners of lost funds to inquire about their money and also to initiate the claim process by filling up the form.
More than 271 million dollars was added to unclaimed money pot in Florida. This translates to $100 million being added to the Florida vault every year. Most of the unclaimed funds in Florida originate from a few popular sources: 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. Florida being one of the most preferred destinations for retirement is also the home for a big pool of pension funds and other unclaimed retirement benefits.
The good news for the claimants is that there is no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property any time at no cost. Any personal inquiries can be made at the following address – Florida Department of Financial Services • Bureau of Unclaimed Property • 200 East Gaines Street • Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0358.