TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There are billions of dollars sitting in Florida coffers, just waiting to be claimed by their owners. The state Department of Financial Services facilitates ways to reclaim lost property and money by Floridians through its “Florida Treasure Hunt” site.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said Florida has $2.5 billion in unclaimed property accounts.
Officially, the Florida DFS reported $388 million was returned to Floridians in 2021, and one in five residents is likely to have unclaimed property, currently held by the state and waiting to be returned. Getting your money back is free. Recent data shows that for just the month of November, $20 million was returned to Floridians.
“I’m happy to announce the return of more than $20 million in unclaimed property to the pockets of Florida families and businesses in the month of November. As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, it is my mission to return every cent of unclaimed property back to its rightful owner,” Patronis said in a statement. “In that spirit, I recently launched my Holiday Money Hunt initiative to ring in the holidays. Help us spread the word by encouraging Floridians to recover and claim cash that has been unknown or lost to them. Currently, Florida has unclaimed property accounts with a total value of $2.5 billion.”
Florida reports that the most common types of unclaimed property are usually “dormant bank accounts, unclaimed insurance proceeds, stocks, dividends, uncashed checks, deposits, credit balances and refunds.” Sometimes it also includes items found in abandoned safe deposit boxes.
In the CFO’s last update on the “Florida Treasure Hunt,” state data split November 2022 Unclaimed Property Returns by Region, showing Tampa was among one of the areas with the largest unclaimed funds and assets.
- Pensacola – $1 Million
- Panama City – $820,914
- Tallahassee – $382,774
- Jacksonville – $744,575
- Gainesville – $164,484
- Orlando – $3.8 Million
- Tampa/St. Pete – $3.7 Million
- Fort Myers/Naples – $2.1 Million
- West Palm Beach – $3 Million
- Miami – $4.8 Million
Residents are encouraged to go to the state site to search for unclaimed money or property they may be owed. Floridians can go online to see if they have money waiting for them.