TOPEKA - Judge Elaine D. Kaplan, with the Court of Federal Claims, issued an opinion on Aug. 8, siding with Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner and against the US Department of Treasury. Kansas had asserted that the federal government had failed to take any meaningful action to find and re-pay owners who bought savings bonds decades ago. The opinion concurred with Kansas’ solution for addressing this problem finding that Treasury failed to follow its own regulations and honor its historical promises. The federal government must now work with Kansas to identify and return the proceeds of all savings bonds with last known addresses in the state. State Treasurers around the country have a number of resources at their disposal to help citizens claim their missing or unclaimed property.
“This opinion is a win for Kansans, especially those from the Greatest Generation,” said Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner. “When individuals make financial sacrifices during dire points in our nation’s history, at the very least, the federal government should hold up their end of the bargain. We wholeheartedly agree that the states are best equipped to reunite citizens with missing or unclaimed property. The Kansas Treasurer’s Office looking forward to returning the money in question to Kansans at the appropriate time. Kansas is leading the effort with many other states to hold the US Treasury accountable. Not only is this a victory for the bond owners in Kansas but for bond owners across the country.”
The Kansas State Treasurer’s Office is charged with returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners and is actively working to return $350 million to Kansans. The Federal Government now has an estimated $23 billion of matured and unclaimed US Savings Bonds that are no longer paying interest and need to be re-united with the people of the United States, and it is estimated that over $157 million of that belongs to Kansans.
In addition to our outreach to help locate the rightful owners of Unclaimed Property, the Kanas State Treasurer’s Office posts all of its unclaimed property online at kansascash.com for anyone to search. You can find properties by first name, last name, or SSN. On the other hand, with respect to savings bonds, the Federal Government only allows people to search for bonds using their SSN and then only for bonds issued after 1974. Although, a large majority of the bonds were issued before 1974 and many were issued in support of the war efforts during World War II. Unfortunately, the rightful owners or heirs to these bonds are often only able to claim their money if they have the actual bond serial number. The State of Kansas now awaits further action by the federal government in regard to this ruling.
For more information on the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office or unclaimed property, please visit KansasCash.com.