DES MOINES, Iowa -- About three weeks ago the State Treasurer's Office received a list from the feds of more than two thousand Iowans who are owed unclaimed money, to the tune of over one million dollars. “Now, we’re about the business of trying to find over two thousand people that have about $1.2 million coming to them," said State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald.
“These were Iowans that were having difficulties with their homes, maybe even put into foreclosure during the housing crisis of '08, '09, 2010 and the Comptroller of the Currency worked with these major financial institutions: Goldman Sachs, MetLife Bank, all the major ones that processed these home mortgages and realized they were using unscrupulous lending tactics and they reached a settlement. So, these major institutions paid over $3 billion to repay these home borrowers. There was still a couple of thousand Iowans that had their money coming back to them, but they couldn’t find them," said Fitzgerald.
"We have names and addresses, but you know, maybe they had to move or whatever, but for us, we will send them a letter to the last known address, which we always do, but we’ll have the names on our website," said Fitzgerald. The list of names is on GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov and the names on that site aren't just the ones benefiting from this recent settlement. There's all kinds of unclaimed money on there. "We now have over a million names on our list. We`re holding over $300 million for Iowans that don`t know they have the money coming to them," said Fitzgerald. “Put your name in, your mother’s maiden name, uncle Ed, you know, put the name in there. A lot of times just the last name, and scroll through those names, and you’ll be surprised. You may not see your name, but you might see Uncle Ed’s or your children or your grandchildren’s names and that’s how we return a lot of money," said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald says if it sounds too good to be true, in this case, it's actually true. "People just don`t believe they have money coming to them. They think that can`t be right, but there`s so many ways, even like being mistreated on a home mortgage, the government has gotten you some money back. Now, we want to find you to give it to you," said Fitzgerald. "We’ll be out at the Iowa State Fair. Stop by our booth in the Varied Industries Building. We’ll have staff out there and computers," said Fitzgerald. "Last year, we found over eight thousand people, returned over $1.5 million at the Iowa State Fair," said Fitzgerald.