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Advocacy

Unclaimed Property

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.

NAST Advocate for the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act
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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.

Key Legislation

Unclaimed Savings Bonds

Passing the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act will allow state treasurers and other state officials who administer unclaimed property programs to return more than $25 billion in unclaimed savings bonds to the rightful owners. We stand behind our champions Senator Kennedy and Congressman Estes in supporting legislation that would return this money to our citizens. State unclaimed property programs are effective and efficient, returning billions annually, and we look forward to working with Congress and Treasury to secure passage of the legislation and support Americans in this time of crisis.

Formal NAUPA Statement Issued on April 14, 2020 Tweet

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.

Q: What is the potential value of bonds to my state?

Based on historical buying patters and population, the estimated value of unredeemed, lost, or missing bonds has been calculated here.

All Unclaimed Property Resolutions

Supporting Uniform Law Commission in its Presentation of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act and Opposing the Anti-Consumer Proposed Model Act of the ABA Subcommittee
Urging the ABA to approve RUUPA and strongly opposes the anti-consumer proposal of the ABA Subcommittee.
2018
Preserving the Right of Owners to Recover Unclaimed Property from States in Perpetuity
Opposing legislative and other measures to limit the period of time in which an owner can recover unclaimed property transferred to the custody of a state.
Approved in 2019.
Supporting the Importance of Ensuring that Unclaimed Property Laws Concerning Unclaimed Property Death Benefits Due Under Life Insurance Policies Adequately Protect Consumers
Supporting the amendment or enactment of unclaimed property laws regarding unclaimed death benefits due under life insurance policies that are consistent with NAUPA’s recommendations to the ULC.
Approved on July 30, 2018 by Beth Pearce. Approved on July 28, 2019 by Dennis Johnston.