Unclaimed Money Florida: How to Find Unclaimed Money in Florida
November 10, 2022
For money or a financial asset to be regarded as unclaimed/presumed abandoned in Florida, the owner of such a fund must have failed to collect for a specific period (1 to 15 years, depending on the asset), and efforts to contact such an owner must have proved futile.
Unclaimed money falls under the bigger bracket of unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes both intangible and tangible assets which are presumed abandoned.
In Florida, the Division of Unclaimed Property of the Financial Services Department is in charge of the administration of unclaimed property.
This department is headed by the Chief Financial Officer, who has the power to make subsidiary regulations on the administration of unclaimed property.
It is worthy of note that possession of unclaimed funds is a common occurrence in Florida.
According to Jimmy Patronis, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, one in five Floridians have some type of unclaimed property.
This is quite a high number, which explains why the Department of Financial Services currently holds between $1 and $ 2 billion in unclaimed assets.
What is the Law on Unclaimed Money in Florida?
The statute that sets the rules on unclaimed money in Florida is the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
The law mandates holders (institutions owing unclaimed money) to report and deliver unclaimed funds to the Department of Financial Services for custody per Sec 717-117 and Sec 717-119 of the Act.
As a result, this department is saddled with the responsibility of seeking out the owners of the unclaimed funds and repaying their money.
Apart from laying down the rules that determine which properties are presumed abandoned/unclaimed, this statute makes detailed provisions on the handling of unclaimed funds, and it spells out the responsibilities of holders, the Financial Services department, and even claimants to ensure the proper refund of unclaimed money.
Flordia Unclaimed Property Search
You can find your unclaimed money through different means in Florida. One of the methods used by the Division of Unclaimed Property in reuniting true owners with their unclaimed money is publishing lists of newly remitted unclaimed property in public newspapers.
This is one of the passive attempts of apparent owner notification recommended in Sec 717-118 of the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
This means that by scouring newspapers and monitoring unclaimed property lists, one may be able to find unclaimed money in Florida.
Another method used by the division is that it designates officials who are saddled with the responsibility of visiting state fairs with lists of unclaimed funds.
The officials then beckon members of the public to look up their names on the unclaimed funds list.
Third-party search engines are another alternative. Since unclaimed money and properties are public in all US states, anyone can assess them through official and even non-official government services.
This is what makes third-party search engines exist as an option for finding unclaimed money in Florida.
These search engines have their advantage. They are convenient to use, unlimited by geographical location, and also capable of producing fast results.
However, they have disadvantages like inaccuracy of results and the inability of their users to complete claims processes on them.
The most reliable means for finding unclaimed money in Florida is through the Division of Unclaimed Property website.
Apart from the certainty of being able to locate one's funds, one can also complete the entire claims process on this site.
Upon landing on this site, the first thing is to start the search for your unclaimed money by inputting your last name.
If the results that come up are too broad and unsatisfactory, you can input your first name, city, and other details that can help narrow your search. Once you find the property that belongs to you, you can start the process of claiming your money.
Upon reviewing the property and confirming it as yours, you go on to submit your claim. This will involve providing your contact information, especially your physical mailing address.
This is very important as the address you provide is where the check will be sent to. Once you submit your claim, an email will be sent to you, which will include your Claim ID number.
The next step for completing your claim involves you uploading the documentation requested in the email sent to you.
Apart from photo identification and other documents, you'd also have to fill out and upload a signed claim form.
After completing the claims process, you can check the status of your claim from time to time by inputting your claim number on the 'Status Page'.
It is pertinent to know that unclaimed funds may also be found in the databases of other government agencies.
For example, unclaimed tax refunds may be sourced directly on the Florida Department of Revenue website.
Florida has an advanced system for refunding owners of unclaimed funds.
As an individual domiciled in Florida, you can avail yourself of these avenues to claim unclaimed money that is owed to you directly or that you may have inherited.
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