Florida has 1 billion dollars of unclaimed property

More than a billion dollars in cash and treasure is sitting in a secret Florida vault waiting to be claimed.

The state has over 12-million outstanding accounts and we got exclusive access to the secret vault that may hold something for you.

“We receive silver, gold, coins, watches and silverware is a common thing we receive,” said vault supervisor Liz Tatum.

They’re all items that once belonged to Florida residents and they’re now kept in safety deposit boxes.

“The rent had gone unpaid and the bank was unsuccessful in contacting the owner and they shipped the contents to us,” Tatum said.

“Everything we get in this vault we hold onto for at least three years,” said Chief Walter Graham, with the Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

The items are kept in crates until they’re auctioned off. The money is then credited to the owner’s account.

“At least 90 percent of all claims we pay, the claimants had no idea about this money until they found out we were holding it,” Graham explained.

But even when people do find out, some of them are still hesitant to take the money!

We found two checks totaling $860,000. But when we called the Fort Myers business the money belongs to, the owner said he doesn’t believe it’s his and doesn’t want it!

We also found three accounts in the Lee County School District totaling $208.

“Now that you found it, we’ll go in and look for it,” said Gretta Campbell, with Lee County Financial Services.

We also located $300 for the Charlotte County School District.

“They’ve had unclaimed property. They’ve just done a good job of claiming it,” Graham said.

Proving, he says, that claiming your treasure is a whole lot easier when you know where to look for it.

As a result of people checking the site; the state paid out $212-million last year alone. So it’s not a scam – or fraud.

To find out if the state owes you any money, head to FLtreasurehunt.org.

We also found out that while the state says it takes custody of the money; it never takes ownership. So, it’s held forever.

They do take the interest on the money though and give it to the Department of Education’s state school trust fund.

Below you will find links to other state treasure hunts, as well as federal money you may have coming to you.

Read more at NBC-2.com