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State could help owners find lost savings bonds

Posted July 24, 2014

— The State Treasurer's Office would be able to search for the owners of long-matured U.S. savings bonds under a measure that has cleared the Senate and gotten a nod from the House Finance Committee. 

"Right now, the Treasurer's Office holds in its possession about $450,000 worth of unclaimed and presumed abandoned U.S. savings bonds," Cindy Avrette, an attorney with the legislature's Research Division, told the House Finance Committee on Thursday. 

Typically, when the treasurer holds abandoned assets, such as untended bank accounts or refunds due to utility customers, it places that money in an escheats fund. There, the money earns interest that is used to pay for college scholarships. In the mean time, the Treasurer's Office tried to find the owners of the abandoned property through advertisements and events. 

But federal law prevents the treasurer from just liquidating the bonds, Avrette said. So, House Bill 27 allows the treasurer to go to court to win title to bonds that have not been redeemed for more than three years after they mature.

"There will be a very aggressive effort to find the owners," Finance Committee Chairwoman Julia Howard said. 

Tony Solari, a legislative liaison for the Treasurer's Office, said his department was used to looking for the owners of unclaimed property, unlike the federal government.

"The U.S. Treasury doesn't have the ability or the interest to find the owners," Solari said. 

The House is expected to vote on the measure Friday, which would send it to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature or veto.

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  • John McCray Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    Paragraph (b) of Section 1 is where the problematic wording for me is. It says "sufficient" effort must be made to find the owner of the bond but lays no criteria for "sufficient." Also it says there must be a certain amount of bonds for a last known address, with no specific amount, again leaving the law open to discussion.

  • Forthe Newssite Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    THis bears repeating.....please note the wording: 'allows the state to file for and salvage...' (steal)

  • Forthe Newssite Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    "But federal law prevents the treasurer from just liquidating the bonds, Avrette said. So, House Bill 27 allows the treasurer to go to court to win title to bonds that have not been redeemed for more than three years after they mature."

    THREE years, sounds like robbery to me. I have some bonds that have matured but haven't cashed them in.

    WHY can't our GA do something to BENEFIT the citizens instead of constantly costing us MORE money?????

  • John McCray Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H27v4.pdf

    Read the bill, this doesn't help owners find the "presumed abandoned U.S. Savings bond" This allows the state to file for and salvage the bonds for its own usage. WRAL, this is kind of a big thing, as once this happens owner's of escheated bonds will have to file a claim and go through a legal process to determine if they are entitled to the savings bond. I say that if this bill is passed, then the state should have to pay some form of interest on moneys that it confiscates for this purpose.

  • Eq Videri Jul 24, 2014
    user avatar

    Thanks be to God. We can all rest easy now. Whatever would we do without our legislative saviors?