Beatles collectible items, a $1,000 bill, rare coins and jewelry were among the items auctioned off Wednesday at an unclaimed property auction held by the Missouri State Treasurer's office in Columbia.
More than $76,000 was generated for unclaimed property owners at the auction, the treasurer's office reports. Nearly 70 bidders from across the United States participated in the auction.
The largest single winning bid was $7,600 for an unmarked silver-colored band and ring with a clear stone.
“The money from this auction will never become the state’s," said State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, in a news announcement. "I hold it for the original owner or their heir until they come to me to claim it." Treasurer Zweifel said. “My Unclaimed Property team is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to return property."
Zweifel says his office returned $38 million in unclaimed property to Missourians in 2011. State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities to turn over assets to Zweifel’s office that belong to a customer, client, employee or other owner if there have been no documented transactions or contact with the owner for five or more years. Most unclaimed property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. It also can include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits and wages from past jobs. Zweifel’s office does not handle real property such as land, houses, cars and boats.
People may check for unclaimed property 24 hours-a-day at www.ShowMeMoney.com. Individuals may also sign up for email notifications and can track a submitted claim from the website.
At Wednesday's auction, hundreds of items were auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center. The items came from safe deposit boxes turned over after five years of inactivity or no contact from the owners. The items from safe deposit boxes represent less than 1 percent of the nearly $700 million held in unclaimed property from more than 4.3 million owner accounts. All proceeds from the auction are held for the owner or heirs of the unclaimed property that is sold.
Since January 2009, Treasurer Zweifel has returned more than $126 million to more than 402,000 account owners.
Zweifel released a list of unclaimed property his office holds for each region in Missouri.
In the St. Louis region, which includes Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles counties, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County there is $202.4 million in unclaimed property in 1.3 million accounts.