Unclaimed savings bond bill considered

A bill that would outline a procedure for the state to take title of unclaimed U.S. savings bonds held by Nebraskans was heard Feb. 22 by the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.

LB873, introduced by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, would enable the state of Nebraska to take title of unclaimed, mature U.S. savings bonds five years after the bonds become unclaimed property.

Murante said current and former Nebraskans or their heirs hold approximately $95 million in unclaimed U.S. savings bonds.

“This legislation is intended to collect those funds from the U.S. government so the state of Nebraska can return them to their rightful owners,” Murante said.

Within 180 days of the five-year time period, the state treasurer would begin court proceedings regarding the bonds. If no valid claim is filed, all property rights or proceeds from such bonds would be redeemed by the treasurer and be vested with the state of Nebraska.

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg testified in support of the bill, saying his office has been responsible for receiving and attempting to return unclaimed property to Nebraskans since 1969.

The office returned more than $11 million in unclaimed property in 2015, he said, and likely would add several million dollars to that total if it could obtain title to unclaimed U.S. savings bonds.

“Unlike the state of Nebraska, the U.S. government makes no effort to locate the rightful owners of U.S. savings bonds that have matured,” Stenberg said.

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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