It was a tremendous year for the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt! A record amount of unclaimed property was reported in the 2018 fiscal year to the program. The amount of unclaimed property coming in over the last decade has doubled. In fiscal year 2010, $24 million was received and in fiscal year 2018, $43 million was turned over as unclaimed property.
This year will wrap with two big milestones for the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. We have returned over $255 million in unclaimed property to more than 593,000 past and present Iowans since the program’s inception in 1983. Additionally, the program reached another milestone of returning unclaimed property to 36,347 rightful owners during the 2018 fiscal year. The average number of unclaimed property claims paid in a fiscal year is 16,000. We had a record number of claims filed and paid in the last year. While I am pleased with reaching these milestones, we still have over $368 million to return to over a million past and present Iowans. Our work is not done.
In September 2017, I 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 owners. We have four months remaining to go and have paid over 11,000 claimants for a total of $3.7 million from this report alone!
Corporations, business associations, financial institutions and companies across the nation report millions of dollars in unclaimed property to the state treasurer each year. Common examples of unclaimed property include money in forgotten savings and checking accounts, uncashed insurance benefit and payroll checks, lost stock and dividends, abandoned safe deposit box contents, utility refunds or deposits.
Visit the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov to begin your search and make your claim today. Keep up with all of our programs on social media (Facebook and Twitter @IowaTreasurer).