$1 billion in unclaimed cash waiting for Floridians

New law allows Floridians to claim cash online, no printed forms or mail

Published On: May 08 2013 11:00:00 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Florida's Chief Financial Officer is holding on to more than $1 billion of your money, and a new law is now making it easier than ever to claim that cash.

It is the most money Dawn Rivera has ever made, in the shortest amount of time. Three clicks of the mouse, earned her hundreds.         

"A $245 check from an old utility deposit, and a 50 dollar check from an old water deposit," said Rivera.

Rivera searched her husband's name and found some missing money.

“The money was still sitting, they had no way to get it to him," Rivera said.

There is lots of money, sitting in the state's unclaimed property account turned over by banks, hospitals, utilities, insurance companies that somehow got left behind.

“They move away and don't leave a forwarding address and there's no way to send it and the companies just don't do it," said Rivera.

So, Local 6's Erik von Ancken went knocking to try and connect the forgotten cash with the rightful owners.

The website is fltreasurehunt.org, and some people in Central Florida have more than a quarter-million dollars coming to them.

Most though, are less than $1,000, like Robin Childs, who found out she was owed $120.

A new state law that goes into effect July 1 says there's no more forms to fill out and mail back, if the amount is under $1,000.

Another reason Local 6 wanted to help people get their money is because, in some cases, the state is having a hard time doing it and that's why there are some large amounts of this list.

Some people have moved far away or some people have passed away, so the unclaimed cash keeps accumulating. State officials suggest you also check your relatives' names, not just your own.

A lot of people have gotten these letters from third parties, claiming they can get your cash for you, but they take a finder's fee.

Many of those companies are legit, but that finder's fee is usually around 10 percent. Experts say save the fee, and just go to the website yourself.