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State returns record $211 million in unclaimed property to Floridians

By Staff | Aug 3, 2012

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater last week said that more than $211 million in unclaimed cash and property was returned to Floridians during Fiscal Year 2011-12 – nearly 12 percent more than the previous fiscal year.

Last year, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property approved nearly 300,000 claims to reunite Floridians with their unclaimed property.

“During these challenging economic times, I am proud that our Bureau of Unclaimed Property has been successful in reuniting a record number of Floridians with their unclaimed cash and property,” Atwater said. “Through their diligent, proactive efforts, we’ve been able to get more money back in the pockets of hard working Floridians, where it belongs.”

Currently, the bureau holds unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $1 billion, 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.

During Atwater’s tenure as CFO, the department has returned more than $323.6 million since January 2011. Since the program’s inception 50 years ago, the bureau has successfully returned $1.9 billion to Floridians.