Treasurer Lemoine supports Operation Rightful Owner
November 10, 2009
Portland City Hall - State Treasurer Dave Lemoine joined Rep. Herb Adams and others at Portland City Hall today to express support for federal legislation that would reunite matured federal savings bonds with their rightful Maine owners.
“There may be more than $70 million in matured but unclaimed federal savings bonds that probably belong to Maine people,” said Treasurer Lemoine, “and my office provides the most effective way to reunite those financial assets with their rightful owners.” Nationwide, the total for unclaimed matured bonds appears to be in excess of $16 billion.
Operation Rightful Owner, an effort led by the National Association of State Treasurers, has endorsed a bill (S.827) submitted by Senator Jay Rockefeller that would use state unclaimed property programs to locate bond holders. The proposed legislation would leverage the proven resources of the states’ unclaimed property programs that return billions of dollars annually to millions of rightful owners of lost funds.
In Maine, last fiscal year, the unclaimed property program paid 18,562 claims worth more than $12.7 million, which is nearly 50% of all funds received. The average claim was for $687.
Easy online access to the property lists and claiming process through the Treasurer’s homepage, regular outreach efforts, an annual newspaper advertisement and persistent work by state legislators have made Maine’s program one of best in the nation. And there are NO FEES to the claimant for using this public service.
“We have the know-how that will get these bonds reunited with their rightful owners,” said Treasurer Lemoine, “but we need this legislation to pass for the process to begin.”