State holds $26 million in unclaimed property

Pictured are several items found upon opening safe deposit boxes turned over to the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office after going unclaimed at Missouri banks.

Pictured are several items found upon opening safe deposit boxes turned over to the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office after going unclaimed at Missouri banks. Photo by Julie Smith.

Since November, more than 1,000 new safe deposit boxes have been turned over to state Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s office as unclaimed property.

On Thursday, the boxes were opened and cataloged so their contents can be returned to their legal owners or heirs.

Looking at some of the items found, such as four Purple Hearts, old baseball cards and a signed Spencer Tracy picture, Zweifel also noted unsigned black and white pictures of people.

“When we open these and look inside it’s a snapshot in time,” he said. “You’re able to look back at the life of many Missourians.”

Banks are required to turn over safe deposit boxes after five years of no contact with the owners.

Safe deposit boxes represent less than 1 percent of the $700 million in unclaimed property Zweifel’s office protects.

Unclaimed property also comes from insurance companies, public agencies and other businesses mostly consisting of cash, stock and bonds from abandoned accounts.

In Mid-Missouri, Zweifel’s office reports there is nearly $26 million in unclaimed property in more than 290,000 accounts.

To check if you have unclaimed property, go to ShowMeMoney.com.

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