Treasury simplifies reclaiming property

The American Press

The Louisiana Department of the Treasury is making it easier for citizens to get their unclaimed property. Last month it began mailing out 85,000 unclaimed property checks to those who are owed up to $1,500 each.

Sometimes individuals’ addresses are incorrect and that is why the property becomes unclaimed, Treasurer John Schroder said in a news release. The unclaimed property comes from old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil royalty payments and utility deposits that aren’t immediately claimed by the rightful owners.

Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, sponsored legislation this year that permits the state Department of Revenue to share its database of current and correct addresses. The process covers five years of unclaimed property records from 2013 to 2017. After cross-referencing the database, the department successfully matched the individuals who are owed $15 million.

Schroder said, “All citizens have to do to collect the money is open up their mailboxes. They don’t have to file a claim form or submit any paperwork. We’ve done all of the work for them.

“If they don’t receive a check, they may still be owed unclaimed money. We encourage them to visit www.treasury.state.la.us to conduct a search.”

Citizens who are owed larger dollar amounts will be contacted to start the claims process in the near future. The unclaimed property fund totals nearly $900 million and it grows by $80 million to $90 million annually, Schroder said.

Kimberly Robinson, secretary of the revenue department, said, “This highlights the importance of citizens keeping their contact information current with the department. Just visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/AddressChange.”

The treasurer’s office said 317 items totaling $28,852 will be distributed in Allen Parish; 511 items totaling $48,401 in Beauregard Parish; 4,617 items totaling $415,182 in Calcasieu Parish; 63 items totaling $3,987 in Cameron Parish; 522 items totaling $47,332 in Jeff Davis Parish; and 521 items totaling $47,658 in Vernon Parish.

Anyone who has had to go through the process of determining whether they are due unclaimed funds and then collecting them knows it isn’t an easy process or one that takes place in a short period of time.

Abramson, Schroder and Robinson, as Abramson said, have helped improve the quality of life for the people they serve. Special thanks to all three public officials.

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