October 31, 2014

State treasurer title to unclaimed bonds

State Treasurer Ron Estes announced the Shawnee County District Court awarded Kansas Treasurer’s Office title of approximately $880,000 in unclaimed matured U.S. savings bonds. These savings bonds are currently held by the Treasurer’s office as unclaimed property. The court also awarded the Treasurer title to unclaimed matured U.S. Savings Bonds issued to owners with a last known address in Kansas.  The information on these bonds is held by the U.S. Treasury and the bonds are estimated to be worth $151 Million.
The Kansas Legislature passed K.S.A. 58-3979 authorizing the State Treasurer’s Office to take title to unclaimed matured bonds and return them like all other unclaimed property coming through the office.
Estes stated requests by his office and previous Kansas State Treasurers to gain access to U.S. Treasury records about Kansans’ unclaimed U.S. Savings Bonds have been refused without having legal title to the bonds.
Some of these bonds date back to World War I, and many of the original owners or their heirs do not know that the U.S. Treasury is still holding their money. “It is my belief that the U.S. Treasury has a duty to patriotic Americans to make an effort to reach bond owners or their heirs and they are not taking the appropriate steps to do so,” Treasurer Estes said.
“The Kansas State Treasurer’s Office has over 30 years of proven experience returning unclaimed property to Kansans,” Treasurer Estes said. “I believe we can do a better job of finding these Kansans and returning their money to them.” The Kansas State Treasurer’s Office currently returns between $14 million and $16 million in unclaimed property each year.
As a result of this decision a request will be sent to the U.S. Treasury for the bonds awarded and access to records of any other matured U.S. savings bonds with a last known Kansas address.  More information can be found at
www.kansasstatetreasurer.com/savingsbonds.

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