BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — About 90,000 Louisiana residents are getting an early Christmas gift in the mail: money they are owed by the state.
Treasurer John Schroder was quoted by The Shreveport Times as saying that his office is sending the money to residents owed up to $1,500 from the state's unclaimed property fund. Checks started going out last week and will continue shipping through November.
"All you have to do to collect this money is open up your mailbox," Schroder said. "You don't have to file a claim form or submit any paperwork. We've done all of the work for you."
Schroder said he wanted to publicize the mailing to make sure people don't throw away the check thinking it's a scam.
Dollars in the unclaimed property fund come from old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil royalty payments and utility deposits that aren't immediately claimed by their rightful owners.
The treasurer's office tries to locate people and return the money.
Under a new law by New Orleans Democratic Rep. Neil Abramson, the state revenue department shared its address database with the treasury to locate people owed money. That cross-referencing found 90,000 people owed $20 million.
Schroder said people who have been matched but are owed more than $1,500 will be contacted by his office to start the claims process in the near future.
Though $20 million sounds like a hefty sum, the state's unclaimed property fund has reached about $900 million, Schroder said. And the amount grows by $80 million to $90 million each year.
"It just keeps piling up," he said.
The treasurer encouraged people to visit its online site to see if they are owed money.
Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com
Posted on Fri, November 2, 2018
by The Lafourche Gazette