WASHINGTON – An amendment modeled on Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)’s Unclaimed Savings Bond Act today passed the Senate Finance Committee. The amendment would help Americans claim more than $29 billion in unredeemed savings bonds, including $337 million that belong to the people of Louisiana.
“The heart of the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act is finally heading to the Senate floor so that we can make sure states have what they need to get billions of dollars to the rightful owners. The Treasury has sat on money that should be in Americans’ pockets for too long—including more than $300 million that belong to Louisianians. Louisianians pay their taxes faithfully, and Washington needs to pay out these savings bonds,” 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, at Kennedy’s request. Individual states, however, conduct programs that reconnect their citizens with unclaimed property.
Kennedy’s legislation would require the Treasury to provide states 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.
Text of the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act is available here.