The leading voice for excellence in public finance
The leading voice for excellence in public finance


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 legislation 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 approximately $32 billion in unclaimed savings bonds with their rightful owners.

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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 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 $32 billion in savings bonds have reached final maturity and ceased to pay interest.  S. 2854 and 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 S. 2854 and 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 $29.7 billion in matured U.S. savings bonds left unclaimed in the U.S. Treasury.

Passing the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act will allow state treasurers and other state officials who administer unclaimed property programs to return more than $32 billion in unclaimed savings bonds to the rightful owners. We support Rep. Este's bill, and look forward to working with Congress to secure passage of the legislation.

Contact Your Senators and Representatives to ask them to Sponsor the Unclaimed Property Savings Bond Act

As the State Treasurer, program administrators, or other advocates, NAST and NAUPA encourages you to contact your entire Congressional delegation asking them to support the bill. (Please thank the member if they are already supporting it.)

Write a letter to Congress

Use this guide when drafting your letter, then follow up with an email and telephone call.

Call Congress

View this list by state and office, and by House and Senate, to assist with your call.

Submit a press release

Your office may want to send a press release, stating your support for the bill's passage.

Write an op-ed

Submit an op-ed to your state's largest newspaper. Send us a link once published, and we'll post it!

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 $32,000,000,000 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

In support of the preservation of the ability of state unclaimed property programs to utilize unclaimed property examination firms compensated on a contingency fee basis and opposing legislation and other measures that would prohibit or limit this ability
This resolution will strengthen our support for this effective, cost-efficient tool of compliance and allow us to more effectively advocate against the arguments made against these firms and state programs.
Approved in 2021
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.