Monday, October 19, 2009

Febs Sued Over Unclaimed Bonds - Do you have any?

States fight to gain control of the $16B in 'Series E' issues
Matt Gouras / Associated Press

Helena, Mont. -- The federal government is facing a lawsuit over billions in unclaimed bonds that date to the patriotic fundraising efforts of World War II, leading to a showdown between states who say they should be given the money and the Treasury Department, which claims ownership.
World War II sparked an unprecedented bond buying campaign, spurred on by one of the largest advertising campaigns ever seen -- a drive wrapped in dutiful pleas from celebrities, politicians and cartoon characters alike.

Most American families bought at least one bond at the time and many never cashed them in -- thanks in part to a 40-year maturity in the bonds. And those same "Series E" war bonds continued to be sold by the federal government until 1980.

More than $16 billion worth of the bonds are unclaimed, either lost or forgotten about with the death of the original purchasers.

The state attorneys general suing the Treasury Department charge that the federal government made no effort to find those people. They want the money given to the states, which have a legal system in place for finding the owners of unclaimed funds.

"It's better for the millions of American who are the rightful owners to have it returned to the states, because the states will make a real effort to find them," said David Bishop, a partner at Kirby McInerney who is representing the states in the suit.

The Treasury Department counters that it indeed tries to find owners of the unclaimed bonds, and says it has a Web site where people cam simply type in their Social Security number to see if they have one.

And it points out that the money is not just laying around somewhere.


Now find out of you have any unclamied bonds by going to this website:


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