Unclaimed Monies

People or businesses that have unclaimed checks issued by our office for county-related and court-related activities


 

Unclaimed Monies

2020 Civil Unclaimed Funds Report under 116.21

For the most current Florida statute information, please visit the Florida Senate website.

Helpful hints on how can you avoid having monies considered unclaimed or abandoned:

  • Make sure that your address is up-to-date with the United States Postal Service and the Clerk's office.
  • If money has been deposited in a case in which you are involved, make sure that you obtain an order disbursing those funds before the case is closed or dismissed, or include the disbursement order in your final judgment.
  • Follow up on any motions filed asking for money to be disbursed to see if a hearing needs to be set, or if all procedures were properly followed.
  • For child support cases, make sure that the Clerk has your current address on file. There is a form for this on our website and it should be filed with the clerk at:
  • Civil Court Records, 315 Court St., Room 170, Clearwater, FL  33756.
  • If you hold a monetary judgment against another party in a civil case, you can re-record that judgment along with an affidavit of current address if you change your address. If the judgment is satisfied through the Clerk’s office, we can then contact you to let you know we have your funds.
  • In Mortgage Foreclosure cases, if there are surplus monies remaining after the sale and all lien holders who have filed a timely claim have been paid, the person who was the owner of the foreclosed property as of the date of filing of the Lis Pendens (usually the same as the case filing date) is entitled to those monies. Detailed information for filing a claim can be found in our Mortgage Foreclosures section.
  • You can monitor your case online through the Clerk’s website. The docket for your case will list any pleadings filed, as well as deposits made and checks issued. You may not receive a notice when money is deposited, so check your case docket online to see if funds have been deposited.

Types of Unclaimed Funds

733.816
Unclaimed funds held by Personal Representative that cannot be distributed or paid because of inability to find lawful owner or because no lawful owner is known or because lawful owner refuses to accept property after a reasonable attempt to distribute it and after notice to that lawful owner.
 
744.534
Unclaimed funds held by Guardian which cannot be distributed because no estate proceeding has been instituted.
 
Probate Court Registry
A Petition and signed Order Depositing Unclaimed Funds are needed to deposit money into the Court Registry.

If the case is an Estate and the amount of the deposit is over $500.00 or if it is a Guardianship and the amount is over $100.00, a “Notice to Deposit Unclaimed Funds” will be completed and mailed to the Gulf Coast Business Review for publishing.  The cost for publishing the Notice is currently $100 and this fee is paid from the funds that were deposited into the Court Registry.  The Notice is published once a month for 2 consecutive months.

If this is an Estate and the amount of the deposit is $500.00 or less or if it is a Guardianship and the amount is $100.00 or less, the “Notice to Deposit Unclaimed Funds” will not get published in the newspaper, but will get posted in the lobby of the Clearwater Courthouse for 30 days.

Once time has expired – six months from the first date of publication in the newspaper or after 30 days of posting in the Courthouse lobby – the funds will be disbursed from the Registry using one of two methods. The funds will either be released to the State Comptroller’s Office in Tallahassee or to a specific person outlined in a Petition and Order to Release Unclaimed Funds signed by a Judge. If funds are released by a Court Order to a beneficiary and interest has accumulated on these funds, a completed W-9 Tax Form is needed from the beneficiary before the interest can be released. The name on the W-9 form has to match the name listed on the Court Order Releasing Unclaimed Funds. 
 
116.21
Unclaimed monies; any unclaimed money collected or deposited by the Clerk in the course of the Clerk's court related activities prior to January 1 of the preceding year.
Identified monies: with case number and/or defendant's name.
 

Types of funds that fall under 116.21
Appeal Bonds
Cash Bonds
Overpayment of fines and court fees
Restitution
Registry deposits without an order to disburse

  • Claims for civil bonds included in the 116.21 list must be made to the Clerk and will generally require a court order to be released. The most common civil bond included in this report is the Non-Resident Cost Bond (deposited under Florida Statute 57.011).
  • Annually in July, the Clerk publishes a listing of all the cases with monies falling into this category. The deadline to claim these funds is September 1st of that year or they will be forfeited.

717
Chapter 717, Florida Statutes, is The Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act. Virtually every business organization from non-profits to Fortune 500 corporations to governmental agencies has some form of unclaimed property in their possession and is considered a "Holder" of unclaimed property.
 
Unclaimed property is primarily an intangible property liability that has been inactive on the books of an entity for a period of time (dormancy period), and for which there has been no owner generated activity. The intangible property liability does not become unclaimed property until it reaches the end of the required dormancy period as provided by law.
 
All claims must be received before April 1st of the current year. Claims must be made in writing and must include your signature and identifying information matching the name or business name on the property. Mortgage Foreclosure Cases – Require a court order.
Once the funds have been reported to the State, they can be located by searching Florida’s Unclaimed Property database at www.fltreasurehunt.gov. The website also provides instructions for claiming the funds.
 
45.032 is covered by 717 and is for mortgage foreclosure monies.

  • Each year the Clerk prepares a listing of any mortgage foreclosure surplus cases. The 717.117 report must be filed with the State by May 1st. The funds are reported by court case number and by homeowner name.