Unclaimed money

Iowa’s unclaimed property is going on the auction block

Iowa State Treasurer Roby Smith recently announced an auction to sell contents from abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Smith said financial institutions turn over contents from abandoned safe deposit boxes each year as unclaimed property. It’s “heartbreaking,” Smith said to have to auction off cherished items, but his office has tried for years to reunite these items with their rightful owners and had no success.

Some items had been held for more than 10 years, Smith said, and there just isn’t any room to keep them any longer. Proceeds from the auction will stay in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt for the rightful owners to claim.

The first auction began May 30 and continues through June 14, hosted by Lone Star Auctioneers. who specialize in selling unclaimed deposit boxes from state unclaimed property programs.

The auction can be found at IowaUnclaimedProperty.org and bidding is open to anyone with a valid U.S. mailing address.

Using an online auction allows for a larger audience across the country, and helps secure the highest bid possible for the owners, Smith said.

Items being auctioned off include sterling and gold jewelry, foreign money, coin purses, pocket watches and more.

Sales can and will be canceled if the rightful owners claim their belongings before then. If you believe an item belongs to you, you can visit GreatIowaTeasureHunt.gov and make an unclaimed property report.

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