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Fitzgerald Reunites Spencer School District with Lost Funds
Iowa Ag Connection - 09/28/2020

More than $600 from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt was presented by State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald to the Spencer Community School District, located in Clay County. "School districts have been busy creating back-to-school plans and are overwhelmingly in need of some good news," said Fitzgerald. "Knowing the hardships they are facing makes it even more gratifying for me to return money from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program to the Spencer Community School District. I am hopeful these returned funds will provide some encouragement and help the district to serve its students and faculty."

Created by Fitzgerald, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program returns unclaimed property back to the rightful owner or their heirs. "We are always reaching out to businesses and organizations with lost property and have had tremendous success in reuniting lost treasures," Fitzgerald said. "Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we know many are struggling financially and want to encourage everyone to search the for schools and organizations in their community." You may watch the virtual check presentation here:

Spencer Community School District located its lost money by receiving a letter from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. On behalf of Spencer Community School District, Business Manager, Jolynne Eilts, received the check. "The process to claim our funds was relatively simple and we received the money within a few days," Eilts said. "My only regret is that I wish we would have claimed it sooner!"

Over $394 million is waiting to be claimed in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt and over $970,000 of those funds are in Clay County alone. The program has returned over $287 million in unclaimed property since Fitzgerald created it in 1983.

Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property's owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report unclaimed property to the State Treasurer's Office. The assets are then held in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.

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