MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Unclaimed Savings Bond Act has become law as part of the annual funding bill. Kennedy’s legislation will help Americans claim more than $29 billion in unredeemed savings bonds, including $337 million that belong to the people of Louisiana.
“Now that the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act is law, the Treasury will finally have to help Louisiana and other states reunite Americans with their hard-earned savings. Inflation is forcing Louisianians to pinch pennies, and it’s basic decency that the Treasury would help people find money that rightfully belongs to them and their families,” said Kennedy.
The Treasury Department is currently holding more than $29 billion in matured, unredeemed U.S. savings bonds, most of which the Treasury deems lost, stolen, destroyed or “unclaimed.” Many of these bonds were issued more than 70 years ago and have matured—meaning they no longer earn interest for bondholders.
In cases in which bonds are not physically possessed by their rightful holders, only the Treasury has the names and addresses of the original bond owners. The Treasury also has the serial numbers needed to claim the bond proceeds.
The Treasury has not taken any significant actions to proactively reunite bonds with their rightful owners despite its relaunch of Treasury Hunt, an online search tool that allows bond owners to locate bond information. The Treasury relaunched the tool at Kennedy’s request. Individual states, however, conduct programs that reconnect their citizens with unclaimed property.
Kennedy’s legislation requires the Treasury to provide states with information about matured and unclaimed bonds so these states can use unclaimed property programs to help find the original owners (or heirs of those original owners) of these bonds.