Thank you again for the warm welcome at this year’s LMA annual convention.  I thoroughly enjoyed the prayer breakfast, and appreciated the opportunity to take part in the panel on capital outlay financing and the feedback and participation from local officials who attended.  I look forward to continuing our conversations on new ways to help local governments finance much-needed infrastructure projects.

Treasury staff attending this year’s convention also had a great time interacting with attendees and helping them search for their unclaimed property.  Treasury staff was available at the convention to search names, and as a result, found roughly $4,000 in unclaimed property for those of you who were able to stop by.  If you missed us, you can still search online at www.latreasury.com.

One of the most frequent questions we received during the convention was, “Where did this unclaimed property come from?” followed by “How did it get turned over to the state?”  These are great questions, and there are a lot of different ways money can go unclaimed after a period of time.

Most unclaimed property occurs because of a wrong address.  People move and change jobs.  As a result, everything from a utility deposit to a final paycheck can get lost or forgotten about in the excitement of a new transition.

Louisiana law requires businesses (we call them holders) to attempt to contact you before sending the money to the State Treasury (L.R.S. 9:159.E).  The law requires holders, such as utility companies or former employers, to perform due diligence and send a letter to the last known address of the owner between 60 and 120 days before turning the money over to the Unclaimed Property Division.  This requirement applies to all unclaimed property items totaling $50 and up.

What happens if you are still at your address and never got the notice or the money?  If the address was correct, the holder may simply have failed to notify you.  Or, there’s always the chance you thought the letter was junk mail and ignored it or accidentally threw it away.

The Treasury receives well over 100,000 new unclaimed property items each year.  For the first time this year, we will be able to cross-reference the new unclaimed property we receive with correct addresses from the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  This means more money back in the hands of more Louisiana citizens!

We always recommend visiting us online at www.latreasury.com to search for unclaimed money in Louisiana.  But there are several additional resources available to you to search for unclaimed property.  I’ve compiled a list here, so take a minute to check it out, and please feel free to share it:

Unclaimed Property in other States:  Almost all states run unclaimed property programs, so if you once lived in another state, visit our partner site www.missingmoney.com.

Federal Tax Refunds:  Each year thousands of federal income tax refunds go back to the federal government, usually because of a wrong address.  Search for your unclaimed federal income tax return here: www.irs.gov/refunds.

Unclaimed Retirement Benefits:  The Louisiana State Employee Retirement System allows you to search for unclaimed benefit checks or contributions for individuals or their beneficiaries.  You can search the list here:  www.lasersonline.org/retirees/unclaimed-property/.

Life Insurance Policies:  The Louisiana Department of Insurance will help you find out if a loved one had a life insurance policy that has gone unclaimed.  You can ask the department to search to locate a missing policy here: https://www.ldi.la.gov/consumers/insurance-type/life-annuities/life-insurance-policy-search.

Unclaimed Insurance Funds for Veterans:  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs keeps a list of unclaimed insurance funds that are owed to current and former policyholders or their beneficiaries.  Search here: https://www.insurance.va.gov/UnclaimedFunds.

Unclaimed Savings Bonds: The U.S. Treasury Department allows you to submit a claim for lost, stolen or destroyed U.S. Savings bonds.  The form can be found here: https://treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf

For more information about these or other unclaimed property efforts, visit us at www.latreasury.com and search for your money at https://louisiana.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/.

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