Unclaimed property, assets worth $312 million could be yours

News 6, state CFO Jimmy Patronis host live phone bank

News 6 is hosting a hotline to help viewers determine whether they have unclaimed property or funds.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Imagine finding money or property you never knew you had just by making a phone call.

News 6 is partnered with Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and his staff Thursday to host a phone bank that will help connect Central Florida viewers with part of a cache of forgotten or lost items valued at nearly $2 billion.

News 6 connected over 1,000 accounts to more than $418,000, and the number is expected to climb. 

Patronis said that, when people find out about the money, they often have mixed emotions.

"Sometimes people are a little embarrassed because they didn't know the money was there," he said.

The Central Florida portion of Florida's current unclaimed property covers 1.3 million accounts and is estimated to be worth more than $312 million.

But not everyone will hit the jackpot. 

For example, unclaimed accounts in Orange County range from a few pennies to $28,000.

"Put in your current name, your maiden name, maybe a business you worked for," Patronis said." "Once you put those names in there, a large list will pop up on the screen."

Patronis said he recently connected with a legendary football coach who lives in Florida and issued him a check for $50,000.

Property that remains unclaimed will go to auction Saturday in Orlando.  

The auction will start at 9 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel near Orlando Airport, located at 5555 Hazeltine Drive.

There is an auction preview Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One man's Rolex watch has an opening bid of $5,900, while two womens' rings adorned with diamonds will get an opening bid of over $7,000 each.

Devin Galetta, a spokesperson for the CFO's office, said unclaimed property is a financial asset that is lost "or has been left inactive, unclaimed or abandoned by its owner."

Common types of unclaimed property:

  • Dormant bank accounts, five or more years old
  • Unclaimed insurance proceeds 
  • Stocks
  • Dividends
  • Uncashed checks
  • Deposits 
  • Credit balances and refunds

In addition to money and securities, unclaimed property includes tangible property:

  • Watches
  • Jewelry
  • Coins
  • Currency
  • Stamps
  • Historical items 

Galetta said many of the items include "miscellaneous articles from abandoned safe deposit boxes."

You can get details and review photos of many of the unclaimed items at FLTreasureHunt.gov

The auction will be held Saturday at the Double Tree Orlando Airport on 5555 Hazeltine National Drive in Orlando.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.