JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said they want another round of stimulus payments disbursed, but the timeline of that happening is still up in the air.
In the meantime, the state of Florida could have money with your name on it right now, and all you need to do is claim it.
It’s called Florida’s unclaimed property. But if you ask Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, it’s Florida’s treasure.
“I wish I was giving you something, but it’s your money in the first place,” Patronis said.
On FLTreasureHunt.gov, you can do a free search in about 30 seconds to see if you have any unclaimed property.
Last year, Patronis said the state gave back over $300 million.
“Biggest we’ve ever had in the history of the state of Florida,” he said.
According to a private startup out of Gainesville called ClaimFound, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars unclaimed in Jacksonville alone.
“It is truly free money,” said Chris Prompovitch, co-founder of ClaimFound. “You just have to go through the process to get it back.”
Prompovitch said the idea for ClaimFound started in 2014.
“My friend’s dad went through the process to get it back, but it took him around a year, and he had to hire an attorney because he had to go through a will and probate,” Prompovitch said. “It was just a huge hassle.”
ClaimFound is not the only service to help people find this money, but Prompovitch explained what makes ClaimFound different.
“There are individuals who reach out and help people find money or unclaimed property. They’re actually very prevalent all throughout Florida. They’re referred to as fee finders. Generally, they have pretty good intentions. They’re just trying to help people find their money. The only difference is they charge a percentage fee or a commission to help people find that money,” Prompovitch said.
According to Patronis’ office, fee finders are allowed to charge up to 20% or a maximum of $1,000 per account. While Prompovitch said ClaimFound does not charge anything up to a certain point.
“We do have premium features in the platform that help users get their money back even quicker,” he said.
Say your name doesn’t show that you have any unclaimed property, that doesn’t mean there’s not something there. ClaimFound has an interactive map where people can search for all of the places they’ve lived to see if there’s any money associated there. And if you don’t find anything, maybe you’ll help a neighbor or friend find that hidden treasure.
Now collecting your money from the state is absolutely free if you go through FLTreasureHunt.gov. But premium services like ClaimFound say they can expedite the process for a slight fee.