Floridians could have more than $2 billion in unclaimed property owed to more than 11 million unique individuals, according to a recent Associated Press story that suggested some of those owed cash include high profile politicians like Marco Rubio and even President Donald Trump.
Until recently, the only free way for an individual or business to find their unclaimed property has been through the State of Florida’s website. After locating unclaimed property, claimants must then package the required paperwork up and mail it to the state. But a new, private-sector technology company wants to change that.
Gainesville-based ClaimFound, launched by a team of graduate students out of the University of Florida, has built a completely free, web-based, unclaimed property platform allowing individuals to recover lost money in an easier way, similar to the way people use TurboTax to file for tax refunds.
The ClaimFound platform makes it easy for individuals to locate their lost money through first-of-its-kind interactive maps and an AI-driven claim matching algorithm. Once someone finds their money, the platform helps them verify documents, sign claim forms, and then provides tracking with real-time updates once the claim has been submitted to the state. After signing up, the individual will never have to worry about unclaimed property again because ClaimFound provides a free monitoring service that instantly alerts them when new money is found.
While the ClaimFound platform has technically been operating for the last year, it was the economic hardship brought on by COVID-19 that was the motivation to build the interactive maps as a new solution to help struggling Floridians find their money in an easier way.
To maximize the chances of helping return billions in unclaimed money to the public, these maps are a starting point for ClaimFound in their state-wide campaign to get the word out about the service, especially as the virus threatens further financial damage if the state shuts down again.
“By our analysis, there are more than 26,000 Floridians who have more than $10,000 in unclaimed property waiting for them. This can be a life changing amount of money for some people and at the very least, some welcomed good news in a year of negative headlines,” says Chris Prompovitch, CEO of ClaimFound.
Even if someone doesn’t find any unclaimed property today, ClaimFound’s monitoring service is worthwhile since they are the only technology solution in the country to offer such a service. With more than $400 million in unclaimed property turned over last year, ClaimFound’s monitoring service will be available to help Floridians at no cost and will likely help Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, return even more unclaimed property in the future.
“ClaimFound is a great supplement to the state’s efforts in returning money to the public, without having to use tax-dollars to develop a new technology,” says Derek Kreifels, President of the State Financial Officers Foundation. “As having been the previous Deputy Treasurer in Kansas and oversaw the unclaimed property program, I can say that the industry is in great need of a new solution. ClaimFound is certainly that solution as their platform helps people find, retrieve and monitor their unclaimed money in a free way that wasn’t available to them previously.”
ClaimFound’s service pinpointed vast sums of unclaimed cash across Florida for The Capitolist, including:
Total Unclaimed Money: $166 million
Total Claims Outstanding: 1.15 million claims
Number of People with Claims: 1.9 million people
Average Value of Claims: $144
Total Unclaimed Money: $71,741,811
Total Claims Outstanding: 771,738
Number of People with Claims: 802,251
Average Value of Claims: $93
Total Unclaimed Money: $71,962,506
Total Claims Outstanding: 882,478
Number of People with Claims: 932,039
Average Value of Claims: $82
Total Unclaimed Money: $59,402,522
Total Claims Outstanding: 737,174
Number of People with Claims: 767,303
Average Value of Claims: $144
Total Unclaimed Money: $15,640,179
Total Claims Outstanding: 217,034
Number of People with Claims: 228,034
Average Value of Claims: $72