Minnesota unclaimed property auction online for first time

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The Minnesota Department of Commerce is currently holding the state’s first online auction of unclaimed property from abandoned safe deposit boxes. Most of the auction items are collectible coins and jewelry, but some unique items include a Joe Montana rookie card, vintage Minnesota Twins Homer Hankies, a 1994 NBA All-Star Game ticket, a Hamm’s Beer watch and diamond rings.

The auction began on Wednesday evening, July 18, and will continue until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1. You can view the auction catalog and submit bids at www.faheysales.com/event/mn-department-of-commerce-unclaimed-property.

Minnesota state law requires safe deposit box contents be turned over to the Unclaimed Property Program after at least five years of no activity and nonpayment of rent. The bank must send a final notification to the last known address of the safety deposit box owner before transferring the contents to the state. The Unclaimed Property Program holds items for at least three additional years, making them available to claim prior to any item being sold at auction. 

Auction proceeds are held in a trust to be claimed by the original property owners or their rightful heirs.
In addition to safe deposit box contents, the Minnesota’s Unclaimed Property Program receives abandoned bank accounts, unpaid insurance benefits and uncashed refund or payroll checks from businesses that are unable to locate the owners. The state program is responsible for holding these funds until they are claimed. 

During the past five years, the Commerce Department has returned nearly $180 million in unclaimed property to Minnesotans. You can search for unclaimed property in your name through the Commerce Department website or at missingmoney.com.