Treasurer Curtis Loftis Expands Unclaimed Property Program to include U.S. Savings Bonds
Friday, January 8, 2016
S.C. State Treasurer Curtis Loftis Expands Unclaimed Property Program to include U.S. Savings Bonds
Treasurer’s Efforts to Retrieve Unclaimed Property Raises Fund to Record $503 Million
Columbia, SC –South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. announced today an enhanced effort to redeem abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds for South Carolinians. It is believed the Federal Government has possession of over $100 million of these abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds issued to South Carolina residents.
If successful, the proceeds of redeemed U.S. Savings Bonds will be distributed pursuant to state statute. Due to Treasurer Loftis’s progressive efforts to locate and retrieve unclaimed property, the program now has a record $503 million.
“The State Legislature has given me the responsibility to redeem these bonds for our citizens. Our folks work hard for their money and it’s wrong for government or business to keep someone’s money or property and make no effort to return it,” said Treasurer Loftis.
“People are often surprised to learn that we have money belonging to them,” said Treasurer Loftis. “Unclaimed property may be money in a forgotten bank account, unreturned security deposits; unpaid life insurance benefits, or abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds. We use every possible resource, including specialized software, phoning relatives and even visiting homes or businesses to locate and return property to South Carolinians.”
In 2012, Treasurer Loftis partnered with several auditing firms to conduct reviews of out-of-state life insurance companies to ensure the rightful owners receive the death benefits according to the terms of the policy. The life insurance companies have since remitted more than $75 million to the state on behalf of beneficiaries.
In 2015, the State Legislature passed a law authorizing the Treasurer’s Office to bring an action to redeem abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds. South Carolinians purchased U.S. Savings Bonds as either gifts, savings for college, or part of an investment strategy. Many of these bonds have either been abandoned, lost, stolen or destroyed.
The U.S. Treasury has refused to provide information on who purchased the savings bonds and is retaining over $100 million of abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds belonging to South Carolinians. South Carolina now joins 16 other states that have either filed, or are in the process of filing, against the U.S. Treasury to redeem these abandoned and matured U.S. Savings Bonds.
To find out if the Unclaimed Property Program has money for you, please visit the official website www.treasurer.sc.gov and click Unclaimed Property.
Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. is the administrator of the South Carolina Unclaimed Property Program and is the newly elected Senior Vice President of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.