Going once, going twice — sold!


Back by popular demand, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will launch the state’s second online auction of unclaimed property from abandoned safe deposit boxes. The auction features jewelry, coins and collectible items, including a Randy Moss sports card.

“Just in time for the holiday shopping season, bidders can shop in the comfort of their own home,” said Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman, whose agency administers the state’s Unclaimed Property Program. “The online auction is an efficient method to reach a much larger audience of potential bidders and secure the highest market price for these items. This is important because the sale proceeds are held in trust to be claimed by the original property owners or their rightful heirs.”

The online auction, with a catalog of around 470 items up for bid, is accessible at https://www.proxibid.com/asp/Catalog.asp?aid=152596. Fahey Sales is a 71-year-old, Glencoe-based company that is managing the auction. Bidding will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 12, and continue until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27.

The most recent auction, held in late July and early August, collected over $54,000 and attracted bidders from 40 states, plus Bermuda, Canada and Switzerland.

State law requires that 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 financial institution must send a final notification to the last known address of the safe deposit box owner before transferring the contents to the program.

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. State law requires the Commerce Department to hold an auction at least once every 10 years.

The Commerce Department advises anyone with a safe deposit box to check it at least once a year and make sure payment is up to date. Information about the safe deposit box should also be kept with other important financial papers.

In addition to safe deposit box contents, the Commerce Department’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 department is responsible for safeguarding these funds and holding them until claimed.

During the past five years, the Commerce Department has returned nearly $180 million in unclaimed property to Minnesotans.

Minnesotans can search for their unclaimed property through the Commerce Department website (mn.gov/commerce) or at missingmoney.com.


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