Louisiana’s Unclaimed Property Division is currently holding more than $365 million in unclaimed money.
Louisiana’s Unclaimed Property Division collected a record $52 million in unclaimed property this fiscal year of 2009. This is the largest amount of unclaimed money collected in a single year in the program’s 35-year history, beating their previous record by more than $3.5 million.
In addition to collecting a record amount of unclaimed property, the Division returned an all-time record of more than $21 million in refunds to more than 17,000 people. This is the largest amount of money ever refunded in one year to Louisiana residents, beating their previous record by more than $170,000.
Unclaimed property is missing money that becomes abandoned after a certain period of time. It includes items such as payroll checks, checking and savings accounts, royalties, utility deposits, interest, dividends, stock certificates and life insurance proceeds. No matter how long it’s been since the unclaimed property was abandoned, Louisiana residents can come forward at any time and claim it.
Since the unclaimed property program began in 1972, the state has collected roughly $537 million in unclaimed money and returned approximately $175 million to the public. Approximately 75 percent of total collections ($400 million) and 84 percent of total refunds ($147 million) have occurred just in the past 12 years.
Even though the state of Louisiana has processed thousands of unclaimed property refunds worth millions of dollars, $365 million still needs to be claimed by Louisiana residents. The more word spreads about the program, the more money is turned over to the state as businesses learn about their responsibility to report unclaimed money to the state.
If you’ve never checked for unclaimed property in Louisiana’s database before, now is the time to do so. They update their unclaimed property database every day, so be sure to check for your friends and neighbors as well. Louisiana residents can search for unclaimed money online at www.latreasury.com or by calling 1-888-925-4127 weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.