Baton Rouge: Louisiana's Unclaimed Property Program had an all-time record-breaking year in 2013 and returned $31.3 million in refunds to more than 25,000 individuals, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy. This is the most money ever given back in one year in the history of the 41-year-old program.
"Each year we do our best to try to return more money to more Louisianians than the year before, and this year was no exception," said Treasurer Kennedy. "We beat our previous year-end refund record by $4.3 million."
Since 1996, Treasurer Kennedy and Unclaimed Property employees have traveled to shopping malls, community centers and other venues all over the state in an attempt to locate Unclaimed Property owners. Approximately 90 percent of total refunds ever ($273.5 million) have occurred during this time.
"Even though our staff receives and processes hundreds of claims daily, there's still $575 million that needs to be claimed by Louisiana residents," said Treasurer Kennedy. "We're just one month into the new fiscal year, and we've already begun an aggressive campaign to return this money to its rightful owners."
The average Unclaimed Property claim is usually $200 to $400 and typically includes old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, CDs, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments, utility deposits and similar funds. When a business cannot locate an individual the money belongs to, usually because of a wrong address, the money is turned over to the state for safekeeping.
"We update our database daily so if you've never checked to see if you're owed any money, now is the time to do so," said Treasurer Kennedy. "You can even check for your family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors. It's a free service, and you can search online at: http://www.treasury.state.la.us/Home%20Pages/UnclaimedProperty.aspx or by calling us toll-free at 1-888-925-4127."
As a result of recent action from the Louisiana Legislature, the Unclaimed Property Division began taking requests for refunds of Crescent City Connection toll tags. If you or someone you know has a balance on your toll tag, visit http://www.treasury.state.la.us/Home%20Pages/CCCToll.aspx for information on how to collect your refund