Are You Owed a Share of Unclaimed Property in Louisiana? One in Six People Are.
The State Treasury Department in Louisiana has hundreds of millions worth of unclaimed money and assets. Many residents and businesses have lost track of their assets over the years. Sometimes checks go uncashed whenever the recipient moves and neglects to inform the sender of his or her address change.
Louisiana has a lot more money to pay out than many other states. Approximately one in every six residents is owed money. To date, the state has more than $435 million in unclaimed funds, including old bank accounts, payroll checks, utility deposits, gift certificates, stocks, life insurance proceeds, and inheritances.
Essentially, “unclaimed property” includes any intangible personal property which is held or owing in the regular course of the holder’s business.
In Louisiana, unclaimed property may include:
By law, organizations must turn over information about unclaimed property to the state if the owners don’t claim them after so many years. For most property types, the number of years is three to five. The average amount of money that an individual is owed is $300-$400. For most citizens, this amount is enough to pursue, yet most people are unaware that the unclaimed property program exists!
What is the government doing to reach out to people? The law in Louisiana requires the State Treasury Dept. to publish the names of businesses and people who are owed money in publications throughout the state. There was also the “Awareness Day” held in New Orleans awhile back, during which $133,000 of unclaimed money was given out to rightful owners.
In Baton Rouge alone, nearly $30 million is owed to 80,000 people to date. The Louisiana Unclaimed Property program began in 1972. Since that time, $645 million has been accumulated, and around $210 million has been paid out to nearly 300,000 individuals.
There is an online database that contains the names and amounts of all unclaimed accounts. Residents and former residents of LA can search the database by entering in their names. They are encouraged to take the initiative and conduct a search to see if they are owed any money.
If they find that they are owed money, they can make a claim for it. Claim amounts that are $250 or more must be notarized. The information needs to be sent in to the State Treasury Dept. Claims that are worth $249 or less can be filed online. Online searches and claim filings are quick and straightforward.