Treasurer Garrity Urges Congress to Help Return Nearly $30 Billion of Savings Bonds to Americans

The Unclaimed Savings Bond Act would give states, including Pennsylvania, the ability to return bond proceeds through unclaimed property programs

Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity is urging lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to support the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act of 2021, legislation that would give states the ability to return more than $29.4 billion in U.S. Savings Bond proceeds to rightful owners nationwide.

The U.S. Treasury currently has an estimated $928 million to $1.4 billion in bond proceeds that are legally owed to Pennsylvanians. Enacting the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act would empower the Pennsylvania Treasury to return those proceeds through the state’s unclaimed property program.

“The U.S. Treasury is sitting on tens of billions of dollars in savings bonds that belong to everyday Americans – and they are doing absolutely nothing to get that money back in the hands of the people it belongs to. It’s inexcusable and it has to change. This money does not belong to the government – it belongs to the patriotic individuals who bought the bonds. It’s time for the federal government to let us find the rightful owners.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity

Garrity wrote letters to both U.S. Senators representing Pennsylvania and to the members of state’s House delegation who serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, encouraging them to support the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act.

For more than a decade, Pennsylvania Treasury has advocated in federal court, and before the U.S. Treasury and Congress, for the proceeds of these matured, unclaimed and unredeemed savings bonds to be returned to their rightful owners and heirs.

Proceeds of these bonds are not the property of the U.S. Treasury, but are debt owed to original bond owners or legal heirs. The U.S. Treasury, however, does not notify bond owners of maturity, or make efforts to locate or contact owners who have not reclaimed their bond proceeds.

The U.S. Treasury exclusively possesses the ownership records for these bonds, and has opposed efforts to provide these records to state unclaimed property administrators like Pennsylvania Treasury. These state administrators have the tools and dedicated resources to identify, locate and return unclaimed property — including securities such as savings bonds.

Treasurer Garrity is statutorily charged with the administrative oversight of Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law. State treasuries and unclaimed property administrators help reunite residents with their unclaimed property— everything from lost refunds and uncashed paychecks to abandoned bank accounts or safe deposit boxes. The Unclaimed Savings Bond Act, S.2854 and H.R.4085, would allow states to claim title to these bonds under existing lost property procedures, and use their unclaimed property tools to seek out and find the original owners and return the money to them or their heirs.

The Pennsylvania Treasury has returned more than $1.5 billion in unclaimed property over the past 10 years.

“This legislation is an efficient and equitable way to get this money where it belongs while costing taxpayers virtually nothing. It will also ensure that the government upholds its promise to the hardworking people who chose to invest in America.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity

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