An estimated $95 million in matured U.S. Savings Bonds belong to Nebraskans, but they don’t know it.
State Treasurer Don Stenberg says the money in the U.S. Treasury should be turned over to his office, so the Unclaimed Property Division can find the rightful owner.
The legislature is considering a bill (LB 873), similar to one in Kansas, designed to get the bonds from the federal government.
“The U.S. Treasury Department is resisting Kansas in the Federal Court of Claims,” Stenberg tells Nebraska Radio Network, “but last summer, Kansas received a very favorable decision in that court. While the case isn’t concluded, if Kansas is ultimately successful, then every state that is able to take title through their state court system to the unclaimed U.S. Savings Bonds would be able to recover them.”
The proposal received no opposition during a recent legislative hearing.
Stenberg says his office is taking action, because the U.S. Treasury is not trying to find the owners or their heirs.
“The Unclaimed Property Division does outreach programs, every year by law we publish the names of all the people we received unclaimed property for, it’s on our website that can be easily searched, and shortly after we receive unclaimed property, we send a mailing to the last known address of the owner, so we would do all that (with the savings bonds),” Stenberg says.
The Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office returned more than $11.8 million in unclaimed property to more than 15,000 Nebraskans and former Nebraskans in 2015.