In a way, Florida can be called a rich state and growing richer by the day due to unclaimed money. The unclaimed money vault is increasing at a rapid pace,with the last figure at an astounding $2 billion. This pile is getting larger at a very rapid pace, with very few claimants coming forward to claim their lost funds. This money is a joint account of almost more than 8 million U.S. residents. This abandoned pile of money is still lying with the state treasury, waiting to be claimed.
Like many other states, Florida has embarked upon an aggressive publicity drive to spread the awareness about the unclaimed funds lying in its treasury. The number of claimants coming forward is just a trickle as compared to the volume of money which is being added everyday to the pile. The awareness program has been very sporadic and could only spark an iota of interest in the current and previous residents of Florida. This has been recognized by the major decision makers in the state treasury, and the rules of the game are now being changed.
Apart from creating a very slick and user-friendly website, 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. Its an upward climb as far as the unclaimed funds deficit is concerned. 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.
This logistical and financial problem is a nightmare for the state treasury officials of Florida and the influx doesn’t seem to ease up. More than 271 million dollars was added to unclaimed money pot in Florida.
This translates to almost $100 million is being added to the Florida vault every year. As a collective responsibility to this growing financial problem, the residents of Florida should work with the state government in locating lost funds for themselves and also for their families. In some cases, residents of other states fail to realize that their lost money might be lying with the Florida treasury because of the fact that they were residing in Florida at some point of their lives.
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, etc. 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. 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.