Florida’s ‘Holiday Money Hunt’ Awareness Campaign Wants To Help You Find Unclaimed Money For The Holidays

Florida has about $2.9 billion in unclaimed property ready to be found by unknowing residents. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has launched a “Holiday Money Hunt” to help spread the word.

Holiday Money Hunt is a public awareness campaign meant to help Florida families potentially find some extra money they may not have known was owed to them in time for the holiday season.

A release from Patronis’ office highlighted 10 regions in Florida where up to a billion dollars of unclaimed property were available:

  • Miami — $1 billion
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg — $610 million
  • Orlando — $465 million
  • West Palm Beach — $344 million
  • Jacksonville — $193 million
  • Fort Myers/Naples — $161 million
  • Pensacola — $66 million
  • Tallahassee — $47 million
  • Panama City — $37 million
  • Gainesville — $36 million

Here’s what to know about Florida unclaimed property and how to check.

What is unclaimed property?

According to the Florida Department of Financial Services website, unclaimed property is essentially a financial asset that is “unknown” or “lost” to the owner or assets that have been left inactive, unclaimed or simply abandoned.

The most common types of unclaimed property include things like dormant bank accounts, unclaimed insurance proceeds, stocks, dividends, uncashed checks, deposits, credit balances and refunds. It can also include things like contents from abandoned safe deposit boxes in financial institutions.

What happens to unclaimed money in Florida?

Unclaimed property will be held by business or government entities, whichever holds the assets, for a period of time. If the owner of the assets isn’t found within what is typically a five-year span, it is reported and remitted to the Division of Unclaimed Property, according to the Financial Service’s website.

The state will continue to hold the asset from here, but it never takes legal ownership. Instead, it uses its resources, such as the FLTreaureHunt.gov website to help reunite owners with their assets.

How to find out if you have unclaimed money in Florida

Finding out if you have unclaimed property or money in Florida is free and easy. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Start by searching Florida’s unclaimed property database. You’ll be asked to enter your last name or business name and your first name. You can help narrow the search down by adding your city. The website suggests using all known names for the most exhaustive search.
  2. You’ll be notified whether or not the database returns any results. If you found something, you can now submit a claim by filling out and signing a claim form. This form will require you to provide a copy of your current ID and documentation that proves you own the account. The claim form will list specific documentation needed for specific claims.

Is there a statute of limitations on unclaimed property in Florida?

Nope! While the business or government entity will hold the unclaimed property for a period of time, it will eventually be turned over to the Division of Unclaimed Property, who will continue holding the asset until the owner is found.

Unclaimed money is deposited into the state school fund, which is used for public education, but the owed money will be returned to its original owner once formally claimed, according to the Financial Service’s website.


Source: Pensacola News Journal