State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald was pleased to host a virtual chat with Iowans that had recently received their ‘treasure’ through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. The participants shared how they discovered their unclaimed property and their positive experience with the program. “I find it very rewarding to return money through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” Fitzgerald said. “The owners were reunited with their lost funds through different resources. From seeing publications in local newspapers to social media posts, we are continuously searching for Iowans to reunite them with their treasures.”
Created by Fitzgerald, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program returns unclaimed property to the rightful owner or their heirs. “We know many are struggling out there because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Fitzgerald said. “We have increased our efforts to find individuals, churches, organizations and businesses with lost property and have had tremendous success in reuniting lost treasures. I encourage everyone to search our list at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov. Search for family members and your local organizations and businesses.” You may watch the virtual chat here: https://youtu.be/c8YKRnMEqQE
Unclaimed property refers to property or accounts within financial institutions or companies in which there typically has been no activity for several years and the business cannot locate the owner. In Iowa, the assets are safeguarded in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include forgotten savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, unpaid life insurance benefits, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents. Over $420 million is waiting to be claimed in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. The program has returned over $291 million in unclaimed property since Fitzgerald created it in 1983.