Unclaimed Property Division has success with eBay auctions
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division has ventured into a new method of monetizing physical items — offering them for auction on eBay.
“Our top priority with unclaimed property is to get those assets back to the rightful owners,” said Attorney General Todd Rokita. “To that end, we want to use the most efficient and effective processes to achieve that mission.”
The only tangible items received by the Unclaimed Property Division are the contents of dormant safe deposit boxes. All other property is unclaimed money from such origins as closed bank accounts, court deposits, insurance, utility companies, old paychecks, closed estates, or from stock and securities.
Once unclaimed property is in its custody, the Unclaimed Property Division conducts an aggressive outreach effort to locate the rightful owners or heirs. It pursues rightful owners through mailings, social media, advertisements, and local media coverage.
Individuals and/or businesses have 25 years in which to claim money once it is held by the Unclaimed Property Division. They simply must supply proof of rightful ownership.
The physical property from safe deposit boxes offers a unique challenge in terms of storage and caretaking.
“By statute, we have the option of liquidating those items after three years,” said Amy Hendrix, director of the Unclaimed Property Division. “And eBay is certainly the most reasonable and sensible option. We started the eBay auctions this summer, and they have done very well so far. We’ve gotten favorable feedback.”
Selling the items on eBay offers one of the most effective means for getting top dollar for Hoosiers who might eventually claim the property.
“Each November, we receive a new batch of safe deposit boxes,” said Valerie Jones, Unclaimed Property Division project manager. “Items are then inventoried, appraised, and authenticated. Then we will be listing them on the eBay auction site.”
Be sure to search your name and the names of friends and family at the Unclaimed Property Division’s database at IndianaUnclaimed.gov.
Year to date, the Indiana Unclaimed Property Division has returned more than $35 million, with the average claim amounting approximately $990.