More than $76,000 was collected for Unclaimed Property owners at Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s Unclaimed Property Auction held in Columbia, MO, earlier this week.
More than 1,000 items originally from safe deposit boxes were auctioned, including Beatles collectibles, a $1,000 bill, rare coins and jewelry. The largest single winning bid was $7,600 for an unmarked silver-colored band and ring with a clear stone. Nearly 70 bidders traveled from across the United States to participate in the auction, according to a release from Zweifel's staff.
“The money from this auction will never become the state’s, I hold it for the original owner or their heir until they come to me to claim it,” Zweifel stated in the release.
“My Unclaimed Property team is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to return property. I continue to break Unclaimed Property return records returning more than $38 million in fiscal year 2011 and putting money back where it belongs, with the Missourians that own it. The Unclaimed Property Auction allows me to safely and efficiently manage the items turned over to me from safe deposit boxes, making space for the items I receive each year, all at no cost to taxpayers.”
Hundreds of items were auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center. These items came from safe deposit boxes turned over after five years of inactivity or no contact from the owner. The items from safe deposit boxes represent less than 1 percent of the nearly $700 million held in Unclaimed Property from more than 4.3 million owner accounts. All proceeds from the auction are held for the owner or heir of the items sold.
The auction was held pursuant to section 447.558, RSMo., and was conducted by auctioneer James Johnston of Marshall, MO.
Since January 2009, Treasurer Zweifel has returned more than $126 million to more than 402,000 account owners. Missourians may check for Unclaimed Property 24 hours-a-day by clicking here.
Following is an overview of the total dollar amounts and total accounts in Unclaimed Property that have yet to be returned in each region of Missouri:
St. Louis Region (Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren, Washington): $202.4 million in more than 1.3 million 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): $14.5 million in more than 179,000 accounts.
Mid-Missouri Region (Audrain, Benton, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Saline): $24.2 million in more than 279,000 accounts.
Northeast Missouri Region (Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan): $7.1 million in more than 75,000 accounts.
Northwest Missouri Region (Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Worth): $9 million in more than 94,000 accounts.
Kansas City Region (Bates, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray): $98.6 million in more than 785,000 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): $34.9 million in more than 404,000 accounts.