Treasurer Lynn Fitch attended oral arguments last week at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a case that could lead to the distribution of $155 million in U.S. Savings Bonds as unclaimed property in Mississippi.
“The federal government has been holding on to $20 billion of citizen money in the form of unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds,” said Treasurer Fitch. “And, they’ve demonstrated no interest in finding the bonds’ owners to pay them back. Mississippi and other states are prepared to take those bonds and distribute them to the rightful owners or their heirs, just like we do with other unclaimed property every day. I am hopeful that the Court will grant us that right.”
Of the $20 billion in unredeemed bonds, an estimated $155 million could belong to Mississippians. The Treasurer, with the assistance of Attorney General Jim Hood, filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims in 2016, urging that the U.S. Treasury turn those bonds over to Mississippi. The oral arguments heard yesterday were in a similar case filed by the State of Kansas. Judge Elaine Kaplan has stayed Mississippi’s case while considering the Kansas case. She is expected to rule in both simultaneously.
Since assuming office in 2012, Treasurer Lynn Fitch has paid out nearly 34,000 claims for unclaimed property, distributing over $64 million to its rightful owners or heirs.
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