On Monday, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced a record-breaking $1 billion has been returned to Floridians in unclaimed property since he took office in 2017.
“I am thrilled to announce that since I became your CFO, we have returned $1 billion back to Floridians in unclaimed property. Today’s news is especially important as many individuals and businesses are looking for financial relief due to the impacts of COVID-19. Special thanks to the Division of Unclaimed Property for working extremely hard to hit this record, even during these challenging times. I will continue working every day to ensure every cent of the more than $2 billion in unclaimed property is returned back to the pockets of Floridians,” Patronis said on Monday.
“An estimated one in five Floridians have unclaimed property just waiting to be claimed, free-of-charge. I’m encouraging all individuals and businesses to search now at FLTreasureHunt.gov and help us return another $1 billion,” Patronis added.
Unclaimed property is a financial asset that is unknown or lost, or has been left inactive, unclaimed or abandoned by its owner. The most common types of unclaimed property are dormant bank accounts, unclaimed insurance proceeds, stocks, dividends, uncashed checks, deposits, credit balances and refunds.
Unclaimed property also includes contents from abandoned safe deposit boxes in financial institutions. Unclaimed property assets are held by business or government entities (holders) for a set period of time, usually five years. If the holder is unable to locate, re-establish contact with the owner and return the asset, it is reported and remitted to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Unclaimed Property.
After serving in the Florida House and on the Public Service Commission (PSC), Patronis was named to the CFO post by then Gov. Rick Scott when Jeff Atwater resigned the post to work for Florida Atlantic University (FAU) back in 2017. Patronis was elected in his own right in 2018 when he beat former state Sen. Jeremy Ring.