Nearly $1 billion in property remains unclaimed in Alabama

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The state of Alabama is holding just under $1 billion in unclaimed property, that could belong to you.

CBS 42 got a chance to go inside their vault to see what exactly they have.

The $926.9 million of property is made up of guns, old coins, family photos and even a flag that may have draped a soldier’s casket.

“It’s like Christmas for us anytime you open one of those boxes. You never know what’s going to be inside of it,” said Chad Wright, the director of unclaimed property for the state. He says each item has a story.

“A lot of times we don’t know the story is. We don’t know why someone put that in a safety deposit box, that they deemed it as valuable,” Wright said.

The items they receive come from banks in Alabama and nationwide.
For many people, it could be money from bank accounts that were closed and still had a balance or safety deposit boxes that were unclaimed.

State Treasurer John McMillan explained what happens to items that are never claimed.

“We actually have an online auction that we can make those available for sale, after three years,” said John McMillan.

McMillan said they do keep some items like military memorabilia. Those items are not auctioned off.

A recent discovery by the treasury is a baseball possibly belonging to Babe Ruth. The ball is currently being authenticated.

Here’s a look at some of the unclaimed property around the state:

  • Madison Co. – $44.3 million
  • Jefferson Co. – $148.8 million
  • Shelby Co. – $20.4 million
  • Lee Co. – $15.4 million
  • Mobile Co. – $58.8 million
  • Baldwin Co. – $24 million
  • Houston Co. – $10 million    

If you’re curious as to what may be up for auction or if you think you have some unclaimed property, click here.


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