© 2023 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Northwest Florida Has Millions In Unclaimed Funds


Do you have any old bank accounts or security deposits you may have forgotten about? The state of Florida is inviting you to go on a treasure hunt and see what might be out there with your name on it. 

Ashley Carr, a spokesperson for Florida CFO Jeff Atwater in the state office of Financial services, says there are millions in unclaimed funds and abandoned accounts waiting to be claimed around the state. There are funds from "dormant accounts at financial institutions, Insurance companies, utility companies, securities or trust holdings, and sometimes they are tangible items from abandoned safety deposit boxes." 

Many of these accounts are abandoned because the owner died, but Carr says that’s not always the case. "Sometimes (people) forget, you know life gets busy. You sign up for a utility account, pay a couple hundred dollars deposit, but when you move you never realize that money should come back to you."

The numbers really add up. In Escambia County there are over 81 thousand claimable accounts totaling 17.9 million dollars in unclaimed property and funds. Santa Rosa County has over 33 thousand accounts totaling almost  5.5 million dollars, Okaloosa County has 10.2 million and Walton County has 6.5 million dollars in unclaimed accounts.

Carr says that while the funds are waiting to be claimed, they are put to good use around the state. The money goes to the Public Education Trust Fund and works to support public education. Claims can be submitted and paid out at any time at no cost to the claimant. 

To see if you have any unclaimed accounts waiting for a reunion go online tof-l treasure hunt dot o-r-g. You can search for your own name or for the name of a relative. You can also 1-88-VALUABLE. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.