State Treasurer of Iowa

State Treasurer Fitzgerald's Final Push to Return Millions in Special Report

March 26, 2019

In September 2017, State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced the addition of over 60,000 Des Moines-area properties to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. The additional properties represented over $11 million added from the City of Des Moines class action franchise tax lawsuit.

“The amounts ranged from $10 to over $300,000 and my office was given 18 months to find the rightful owners through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” said Fitzgerald. “We are approaching the end of the 18 month period and I’m urging central Iowans to check our list.” A claim must be filed by April 25, 2019 to be eligible for review and potential payment. Any claims in progress will have 90 days from date submitted to finish the process, but after April 25, these properties will not be available to claim through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt or the City of Des Moines. Remaining funds will be returned to the city.

“Over the course of the last 17 months, our office received a record number of calls, people stopping by our office, visits to our website and claims submitted,” Fitzgerald stated. “But more importantly, over 12,000 people or businesses have received checks for a total of $4.1 million!”

The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $259 million in unclaimed property to more than 592,000 individuals since Fitzgerald started it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include: savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.

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