Des Moines, IA – State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald will host Iowa’s first unclaimed property eBay auction beginning on November 26. “If you are still looking for a unique gift after you have done your Black Friday shopping, check out our eBay auction starting on Cyber Monday,” Fitzgerald encouraged. “Many items are one of a kind or collectibles that were turned over in unclaimed safe deposit boxes held by financial institutions. EBay will ensure we get top dollar for each item.” Interested bidders may visit the State Treasurer’s eBay page at http://myworld.ebay.com/ia.unclaimed.property.
The auction begins on Cyber Monday, November 26, and runs for seven days, ending December 3. Some of the treasures in this online auction include ladies and men’s rings; 90% silver coins; .999 fine silver medallions; basketball cards; pocket and wrist watches; and U.S. and foreign currency. Items included in the auction are from abandoned safe deposit box contents reported to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property by various banks and financial institutions across the state. All items have been abandoned for over seven years prior to the auction. Photos, letters and other personal memorabilia will not be included in the auction. Every effort is made to contact the original owner of the property prior to sale. The sale proceeds are held for the rightful owners should they ever come forward.
Every year, millions of dollars in abandoned property is turned over to the State Treasurer’s office. Prior to any auction, the Treasurer’s Office completes an exhaustive effort to locate the owner. Letters are mailed to the last known address; names are published in a newspaper in the county of the last known address; names are posted on www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com; and names are taken to the Iowa State Fair and other events around the state. “In addition, we search online databases to determine if we can find a new address for a lost owner,” Fitzgerald explained. “We find a number of people through these efforts. If an owner comes forward prior to the conclusion of the auction, we will return the item to the owner rather than sell it.”
Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions, businesses and other organizations that have lost contact with the owner for a specific period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include checking and saving accounts, court deposits, stocks, dividends, gift certificates, life insurance policies, utility deposits, refunds, rebates, wages, and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Search our unclaimed property database to see if the State Treasurer has property belonging to you. Simply visit www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com to begin your search.