Des Moines, Iowa – September 27, 2017
State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced the addition of over 60,000 Des Moines-area properties to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. The additional properties represent over $11 million added from the City of Des Moines class action franchise tax lawsuit. This money is now available to claim at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov.
“We have the opportunity to provide people with another chance to claim their piece of the lawsuit,” Fitzgerald said. “The amounts range from $10 to over $300,000. We will have these properties for 18 months and will then return the remaining funds to the City.” The properties were posted at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov on September 26, 2017.
Businesses and individuals who joined the class action were required to make a claim. Some made the claim and were paid; others either did not make their claim or the check for their claim was never cashed. At the conclusion of the claim period, the court ordered that the funds be turned over to the state treasurer’s office and made part of the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt for a period of 18 months in a final effort to return the funds to the class members. Any claim over $10 is now available.
“We are expecting a large number of these properties to be claimed, given the success rate of the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” Fitzgerald added. In order to ensure we are paying the correct party, claimants may be required to provide documentation showing that they lived at, or owned, the address reported.
If an individual has passed away, the heirs to that property can claim the funds. In addition, if a business has closed or changed owners, additional documentation will be requested to verify the proper owner.
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $233 million in unclaimed property to more than 540,000 individuals since Fitzgerald started it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include: savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.
Visit the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov to begin your search. Like Great Iowa Treasure Hunt on Facebook and follow the program on Twitter (@GreatIATreasure).