Kennedy introduces amendment to help Americans claim $28 billion in unredeemed savings bonds

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced an amendment to the Senate infrastructure bill to help Americans claim almost $28 billion in unredeemed savings bonds.

“This money belongs in the hands of the American people. It shouldn’t be under lock and key at Treasury. This amendment will empower states to make sure that these dollars are returned to their rightful owners,” said Kennedy.

The Treasury Department is holding more than $27.9 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 are now 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, as well as 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 amendment 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 these original owners) of these bonds. This provision would only apply to bonds that are matured and unredeemed as of December 31, 2017.

Text of the amendment is available here.

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