The Manatee County Clerk of Court labors to find citizens who are owed $28,251.21 in court-related fees.
Will Altman, come on down!
Angel Colonneso, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, says you have $787 with your name on it.
Alyssa Benitich, you’ve got $490. Angel Castillo Kokko, well, a cool grand. John Spiwak has $558 on the table.
It’s not a game show, or the lottery. This is simply people leaving their wallet on the clerk’s office floor. They are owed money, and obviously, they don’t know it.
Unfortunately, the clerk’s office knows who they are, but they just don’t know where they are.
On July 26, the Manatee Clerk and Comptroller’s office released its annual unclaimed funds list.
No matter whether or not you believe it, the clerk’s office doesn’t want to keep your money. Really.
In all, it’s $28,251.21 that belongs to citizens who don’t have a clue their money is in peril. If not claimed by Sept. 1, all that money will be forfeited. The clerk’s office will then turn it over to the fine and forfeiture fund which goes to the state.
Brandon Bunker, you’re losing $332.50 in a month. Chase Bank, you’ll be down $1,000. Of course, you probably have all the money you need. Emily Gay has $600 on the line. Dylan Kuebler, you can probably do something fun with the $1,500 that you are owed. Renters Warehouse Florida is owed $3,890.
A lot of citizens are owed $15 for jury service not collected. Hey, pick it up and go to the movies.
The Clerk and Comptroller’s office holds unclaimed money for people who forgot to cash their jury duty checks, or overpaid court fees, or are owed vendor payments.
“We put this out every year,” said Jennifer Linzy, Colonneso’s public information officer for the clerk’s office. “If you don’t collect by Sept. 1, the money is gone.”
The money owed is for the calendar year 2020 and it all is court-related funds. Linzy said the $28,251.21 is about the average amount unclaimed during a calendar year.
Linzy noted that all payments to jurors for their service or those owed court-related fees are paid by check, mailed to the address the clerk’s office has on file.
Funds become unclaimed when a check is returned to the clerk’s office or simply never is cashed. Perhaps that check went into the garbage with junk mail. Perhaps the person moved. Maybe the person is independently wealthy.
One of those reasons might be why the Palmetto Pines Golf Course didn’t pick up the $478.08 it is owed. Or why Joseph Viverious hasn’t collected his $215.
Walgreens might not be interested in the $511.50 it is owed. Benrima Zimmerman has $220 on the line while Vincent Williams can pick up $200 if he so desires.
Once the funds go into the fine and forfeiture fund, the cash is out of the clerk’s hands.
Linzy said owed vendor payments are when vendors are hired by the clerk’s office for service and they never have cashed their check. She said court settlements are funds that end up in the unclaimed funds list. And whenever citizens are owed for making overpayments, a check is automatically paid to the person owed (unless the amount is for less than $10).
She also noted that checks mailed to customers with explanations are in English.
Linzy said it all shows the importance of keeping a good address on file with the clerk’s office, whether that means with your driver’s license, or through a voter registration or some other form of identification.
For those wanting to claim their money, they should reach out to the clerk’s office at [email protected]. The person collecting must file a written request for the money and that request must be notarized. Linzy said the clerk’s office will help anyone with the procedure. The form must be returned by the Sept. 1 deadline.
Those needing more information can call the clerk’s office at 741-4006.
The unclaimed funds list can be found at ManateeClerk.com.
That means you Arctic Air, if you want your $100, or Deborah Frey, if she wants to collect her $164.98, or Dilcia Montes, who has $500 on the line.
“We put a notice (in the media) and on our website,” Linzy said. “But it can be hard if you don’t know you have money owed to you.”
Linzy also said citizens can check FlTreasureHunt.gov in the search for other unclaimed funds, although those funds have no connection to the clerk’s office.
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