Stored treasures that have been unclaimed for years go up for on-line auction today by the State Treasurer’s Office on Ebay. Treasurer Michael Fizgerald says there’s some 100 lots of items from unclaimed safe deposit boxes.
“The bidding will be held open for one week, and at the end of the week, the auction’s over and those items will be sold to the highest bidder, and then we’ll start another process here on some more items later on in the month,” Fitzgerald says. “This is our first ever Ebay auction. there’s some interesting and valuable stuff here that’s going to be sold, and hopefully Iowans will get a good bargain.”
Fitzgerald says they try to find the owners of the items, but the law requires them to hold a sale after a certain amount of time.
“We get in over 400 safety deposit boxes a year and they just roll in and our vaults are full,” he says.
Fitzgerald says the amount of items that go unclaimed has gradually increased over the years and he believes its in part to the more mobile society. “When we started back in 1983, we received about a hundred thousand dollars a year in unclaimed property. Last year we receive over 27-million dollars in unclaimed property to the Treasurer’s Office. So, with the advent of computers and our moving society, people are losing track of a lot of money and valuables that they have,” according to Fitzgerald.
“But on the other hand we’ve been able to return money to over a 340-thousand Iowans. Over 125-million dollars has been returned.” Proceeds from the sale will go back to the state. You can see the items up for sale and make a bid at: www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com.