Arkansas Auditor of State Charlie Daniels announces a new eBay auction of unclaimed property

Arkansas Auditor of State Charlie Daniels announces a new eBay auction of unclaimed property to begin January 27, 2012. Over 20 years of abandoned safe deposit box contents have accumulated in the Auditor of State’s unclaimed property vault. With little probability of these items being claimed, the new online auction program enables the Auditor’s office to free up much needed space in the vault and to find new homes for these valuables and collectibles.

“The items being auctioned include things such as jewelry, coins and baseball cards, all from abandoned safe deposit boxes that came to our office because the original owner most likely either moved or died years earlier,” said Auditor Daniels.  “Our eBay program will give these abandoned valuables a new home instead of keeping them locked away in a vault.”
Items to be included in the first auction are as follows:
  • 9 Golden Replica U.S. Stamps-First Day Covers
  • Miscellaneous coins that have sustained fire damage (includes a $1 coin from 1878)
  • Costume jewelry
  • Gold $100.00 Coin from Belize
  • American Revolution Bicentennial Coins
  • Paper Money
The Auditor’s office will hold new auctions on the last Friday of each month beginning January 27, and each auction will last 10 days.  Future auctions will include silver and gold coins, silver candelabras, silver serving pieces, diamond rings, men’s and ladies’ watches, baseball cards and collectible stamps. Interested bidders may sign up to receive email auction alerts by visiting the Auditor’s website at  Bidding is open to any registered user of eBay (a free service).  However, the Auditor of State, his employees and their immediate families are not eligible to bid on auction items. 
According to Arkansas law, safe deposit boxes are presumed abandoned by the original owner if the property remains unclaimed for more than five years after the expiration of lease or rental period on the box.  The Auditor of State, as administrator of the unclaimed property program, is authorized to conduct a sale of safe deposit box properties under A.C.A. 18-28-212.  Proceeds from each item’s sale will be held in trust for the original owner to claim, as the right to claim one’s abandoned property is never extinguished.  As an extra precaution, the Auditor’s office will make one last attempt to contact the original owner or his/her heirs prior to the auction.
About Unclaimed Property
Arkansas law requires businesses and government organizations to report abandoned property to the Auditor of State after the property remains unclaimed for a specified period of time, usually 1-5 years depending on the type of property. Unclaimed property can include things like credit balances, security deposits, utility refunds, stocks, bonds, cash and even mineral royalties. Once the property is turned over to the Auditor of State, it remains in trust for the original owner or the owner’s heirs to come forward and claim. Since the program’s inception, the Auditor of State has returned over $82 million to original owners of unclaimed property.
The Auditor of State’s office annually hosts The Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt, an awareness program to help reunite unclaimed property owners with their lost assets. In 2011 unclaimed property reported to the State Auditor’s office totaled $22.8 million, with an additional $150 million from previous years still waiting to be found. Arkansans can search for unclaimed property on the Auditor’s website at