The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Things Found in Safe Deposit Boxes


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We are going through this years’ batch of safe deposit boxes turned over by Wisconsin banks. By state statute, banks are required to turn over the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes after 5 years of non-payment of rent. We hold onto the contents for 3 more years before selling items of value on E-Bay.

We normally inventory about 400 to 500 boxes a year – a long process that has us going through lots of personal papers, photos, financial statements, jewelry, coins, etc. It’s amazing what some people consider valuable compared to others. Some items are family heirlooms, some are pieces of jewelry that the owner thinks are worth money, some are coins that people think might gain value over the years. We also find pictures people probably thought no one else would see as well as letters sent to family members that no one thought a stranger would read. We just put those items in plastic bags and don’t look or read them after the initial inventory. Pictures and papers are destroyed after two years of sitting in our vaults.

I do like to remind folks to let family members know you have a safe deposit box…and to be sure to pay rent on it, or it comes to our office!

The owners of the boxes we got this year will find their names in the unclaimed property database within the next few weeks. Be sure to search!

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: FAQ: I sent my claim form in quite a while ago. Why haven’t I received anything yet? « wistatetreasury

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