Iowa is auctioning off abandoned safe deposit boxes
Why it matters: Millions of dollars in abandoned property are turned over to the state treasurer's office each year from financial institutions and businesses that have lost contact with owners.
- Dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks and utility deposits are among the common items turned over to the state.
- People can search and lay claim to their items online via "Great Iowa Treasure Hunt."
Driving the news: The office's last safe deposit box auction was in 2018 and the state's unclaimed property vault is now full.
- Nearly 30 of the first auction lots end June 14. Sales will be canceled if rightful owners lay claim before then.
What they're saying: These auctions are difficult because they're often people's most prized possessions, Russ Trimble, the treasurer offices' chief of staff, tells Axios.
- The contents frequently have more sentimental value to owners than monetary worth, he says.
- Auction revenues are held by the state for owners or their heirs to claim into perpetuity — as is done with other financial accounts.
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