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JEFFERSON CITY – State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) today opened the Unclaimed Property vaults sharing some of the most interesting pieces found in the safe deposit boxes he has received since November. Treasurer Zweifel showcased 19th-century Bank of St. Louis currency, a tortoise shell baby rattle, gold coins and military memorabilia from the 1,200 safe deposit boxes received from more than 100 banks.
Since taking office in January 2009, Treasurer Zweifel has returned more than $72 million in Unclaimed Property to more than 200,000 accounts owners.
“Each year, I receive hundreds of safe deposit boxes from banks across Missouri with thousands of items that we catalog and protect for owners and heirs,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “Safe deposit boxes are a small part of the more than $600 million in Unclaimed Property I hold, but the contents we find in the boxes often share some of the most interesting stories including family Bibles, land grants and more. No matter what it is, I always return it free of charge.”
Treasurer Zweifel receives safe deposit boxes from banks after they have had five years of no contact with the owners. The Unclaimed Property received in safe deposit boxes is sold at auction after about two years in Unclaimed Property, with the proceeds held indefinitely for owners. This does not include the more than 80 military medals, honors and insignia. In 2010, Treasurer Zweifel successfully championed legislation that ensures no future State Treasurer can sell these pieces of history.
“The military medals I protect in Unclaimed Property represent the commitment and dedication of men and women to our state and country,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “When I took office I made a promise to never sell these important pieces of our shared past and I am proud to know that thanks to the change in Missouri law, no veteran will ever have to worry about losing this important symbol of the sacrifice he or she made.”
Treasurer Zweifel receives more than just safe deposit boxes from banks. He also receives Unclaimed Property from financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities if there has been no documented transaction or contact with the owner for five or more years. Most Unclaimed Property consists of cash, stocks and bonds from abandoned accounts. The average account returned is $350 and one in 10 Missourians has Unclaimed Property.
“I have worked very hard to ensure Missourians can find and claim their Unclaimed Property as quickly and easily as possible,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “Missourians can now search 24 hours a day at www.Show MeMoney.com, register for email notifications and file paperless claims. My team works diligently to return property in an efficient and timely manner.”
To locate owners of Unclaimed Property, Treasurer Zweifel uses direct mail, legislator outreach, events, advertising and www. ShowMeMoney.com. Additionally, dedicated staff searches for owners of larger accounts, such as the St. Louis area man who received $1.6 million in January 2010.
Following is an overview of the Unclaimed Property found in each region of Missouri:
Kansas City Region (Bates, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray): $90 million in nearly 700,000 accounts.
Mid-Missouri Region (Audrain, Benton, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Saline): $21.7 million in nearly 240,000 accounts.
Northeast Missouri Region (Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan): $6.5 million in more than 64,000 accounts.
Northwest Missouri Region (Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Worth): $8.5 million in more than 80,000 accounts.
Southeast Missouri Region (Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Wayne): $13 million in nearly 150,000 accounts.
Southwest Missouri Region (Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Polk, Shannon, St. Clair, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Webster, Wright): $32 million in more than 340,000 accounts.
St. Louis Region (Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, Washington): $188 million in more than 1.1 million accounts.
To search for Unclaimed Property, register for email notifications of new property matching your information or to file a paperless claim for property visit www.ShowMeMoney.com or call (573) 751-0123.
State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities to turn over assets to Treasurer Zweifel’s office that belong to a customer, client, employee or other owner if there have been no documented transactions or contact with the owner for five or more years. Most Unclaimed Property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned.
It also can include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits and wages from past jobs. Treasurer Zweifel’s office does not handle real property such as land, houses, cars and boats.
There is $600 million in Unclaimed Property maintained by Treasurer Zweifel. Treasurer Zweifel never charges for the return of Unclaimed Property.