According to ABC News, unclaimed property scams are becoming more prominent. Many of these firms claim that they have identified hundreds or thousands of dollars being withheld from their rightful owners. Frequently, these scams are sent out by bulk emails to unsuspecting consumers. However, if you want to know how to find unclaimed property in Florida, you need not pay a “finder” to identify that property.
What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property is classified as a financial asset, with the exception of real estate, that has not been claimed by its rightful owner in a specified period of time. The time period for property being deemed unclaimed varies between three and five years. Typical unclaimed property includes stocks and bonds, safe deposit box contents and dividends or interest payments. Other types of unclaimed property may include (but may not be limited to) unclaimed insurance policies, checking and savings accounts and abandoned retirement accounts.
Can anyone claim abandoned property?
The rightful owners may claim property at any time after it is turned over to the State of Florida. In addition property may be claimed by heirs of the owner, by other states or may be claimed by properly registered third parties. Florida does have strict requirements about third parties who are collecting benefits on behalf of the rightful owners or heirs.
Identifying unclaimed property
Anyone who believes that there is property in the State of Florida that they are entitled to may contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Owners may contact the office at (888) 258-2253 or (850)413-5555 or by email at FloridaUnclaimedProperty@MyFloridaCFO.com. It is important to note that there is no guarantee of email privacy and this method is not recommended. Claimants may also send a letter through the mail to Post Office Box 8599, Tallahassee, FL 32314-8599.
How do I know if Florida has property of mine?
Those with Internet access may search for unclaimed property in Florida by searching the Florida Unclaimed Property database on the “Florida Treasure Hunt” website that is maintained by the Department of Financial Services. Users who find property are then encouraged to follow the instructions to file a claim.
Florida like most states has a specific form to claim abandoned property. In addition to this form, claimants will be required to provide additional documents including a government issued photo identification and proof of ownership. Claims are generally processed within 90 days. Claimants do not have to pay any party to claim funds to which they are entitled. There is no statute of limitations to file a claim.