Do you have unclaimed treasures in Ohio’s ‘lost and found?’
Ohio’s unclaimed funds contain more than money.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Precious metals, coins, stamps, foreign or domestic currency; who could forget they own items like this?
It turns out, a lot of Ohioans!
Could these small treasures be yours?
There are more than uncashed checks and forgotten security deposits in Ohio's $3 billion worth of forgotten money.
Entire safe deposit boxes have been forgotten too.
19 News has a rare look inside Ohio's "lost and found."
Akil Hardy is the superintendent for the Division of Unclaimed Funds.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the division returned $136 million to Ohioans, paying 36,910 claims.
He says the goal is to reunite people with their money or property.
“It can be a little difficult, but we try to make the process as efficient and seamless as possible,” Hardy said.
19 News got an exclusive look at what's inside those forgotten safe deposit boxes.
After a certain amount of time, the bank turns over the contents inside to the state.
The Division of Unclaimed Funds displayed some of those items on a table for 19 News to see.
They included redemption stamps, stock certificates, silver dollar coins and one gram of solid gold.
There was also a Vatican coin from the Sistine Chapel and a sterling silver set of U.S. presidential medallions.
They also have a U.S.S.R. commemorative coin of the Battle of Stalingrad.
The oldest item on the table was a dollar bill from 1886.
There's a person and a story behind every item on this table.
“With every box that comes in, there’s an owner, there’s a story, there’s a family history. There’s something behind it that is truly telling about that item,” Hardy said.
One thing the state doesn't hang on to is jewelry.
Forgotten valuables from safety deposit boxes are stored in a safe at the Ohio Department of Commerce.
The Division of Unclaimed Funds can auction items, but they don't plan to do that any time soon.
“It's our intent to return the entire contents to the property owner,” Hardy said.
Hardy could not give us a number when we asked for the total value of the physical unclaimed property they have in their possession, but we know for many people, getting these forgotten items back would be invaluable.
We asked Hardy how important is it for him to reunite owners with their property.
“It's incredibly important,” he said. “This is someone's property, this is someone's funds and it means something to them.”
The Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Unclaimed Funds just returned about $195,000 in missing money to visitors of the Ohio State Fair this year.
They filed more than 550 claims for people across the state in 11 days.
Do you have unclaimed money or property?
Find out by going to missingmoney.com.
You can learn more about submitting a claim to the state by clicking here.
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