Reuniting billions of dollars in unclaimed property with its rightful owners
The purpose of unclaimed property laws is to protect the public by ensuring money and property owed to them is returned to them, rather than remaining permanently with financial institutions, business associations, governments, and other entities.
NAST advocates for legislature that continues to help citizens find and claim their unclaimed property easily and securely. Currently, NAST is advocating for the Unclaimed Property Savings Bond Act, which could help reunite $26 billion in unclaimed savings bonds with their rightful owners.
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA)
A Network of the National Association of State Treasurers
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) leads and facilitates collaboration among administrators in their efforts to reunite unclaimed property with the rightful owner.
There are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed property held by state governments and treasuries in the U.S. Think you may have unclaimed property? You can search for free to find out.
Unclaimed Savings Bond Act
Since 1935, the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt has issued more than six billion savings bonds worth more than $600 billion. Approximately $24 billion in savings bonds have reached final maturity and ceased to pay interest. H.R. 4085, the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act, proposes to empower the states to act on behalf of the Bureau to find owners of matured unredeemed savings bonds and facilitate the payment of their claims.
Why HR. 4085 Is Necessary
Most savings bonds accrue interest until maturing over a 20- to 40-year time period. When these bonds mature, and cease to pay interest, it has been up to the buyer to remember to redeem the matured bond decades after the initial purchase. This has resulted in approximately $26 billion in matured U.S. savings bonds left unclaimed in the U.S. Treasury.
Contact Your Senators and Representatives to ask them to Sponsor the Unclaimed Property Savings Bond Act
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are there so many unclaimed savings bonds?
After tens of years, many bond holders no longer have record of the bond – they are often lost, stolen, destroyed, or the physical bond is otherwise not available. Records relating to savings bonds are not fully automated, so a report listing the owners of matured, unredeemed accrual savings bonds is not easily accessible to the rightful owners. Claims filed after six years of maturity of a savings bond are entertained only if the claimant supplies the serial number of a bond. However, in many cases the U.S. Treasury is the sole holder of that information, making retrieval extremely difficult. As a result, approximately $26,000,000,000 in matured U.S. savings bonds are presently left unclaimed in the U.S. Treasury.
Q: Why are states the appropriate entity to help facilitate bond owners' receipt of funds for unclaimed U.S. savings bonds?
The U.S. Treasury has not made an affirmative effort to contact the owners of unredeemed savings bonds to assist them in redeeming them. All fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have existing, successful unclaimed property programs. If, given access to federal records, states will be able to list the bonds in their established unclaimed property databases allowing them to make the strongest impact on the effort to reunite bond owners with their lost bonds. The existing infrastructure that is already empowering states to return unclaimed property will enable states to successfully add savings bonds to their unclaimed property programs.