Now available on eBay: Unclaimed safe deposit treasures

MdflagYou can buy almost anything on eBay these days, including (thanks to the Maryland Comptroller's Office), the abandoned contents of safe depost boxes.

According to state Comptroller Peter Franchot, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions "are required to report contents of safe deposit boxes, bank accounts, wages, insurance benefits, security deposits, stock dividends and other property to the Comptroller's Office if they remain unclaimed for three or more years." The Comptroller's Office is required by state law to auction off any abandoned property that is kept in storage.

Back in the day, the only way to sell the stuff was during annual live auctions. But thanks to eBay, the Comptroller's Office can auction it off year-round. In 10 months, the state has sold more than $100,000 in abandoned merchandise on eBay, with all proceeds kept for the original owners or rightful heirs. "Using technology to sell unclaimed items helps not only the state cut costs but brings in the biggest windfall for owners," said Franchot.

Interested? Check out the state's unclaimed property auction on eBay.


Bill Sheridan