State closer to finding savings bonds owners

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Florida's Chief Financial officer says there's new hope for tracking down the owners of potentially thousands of Federal savings bonds.

There may be a billion dollars-worth.

The state says the only way to collect is to have the original paper bond or the serial number.

The state complains the US Treasury doesn't do much to find bond owners.

Nationwide, $19 billion are unclaimed.

"We are hoping to get owner information so we are able to inform the original owners that they might have a savings bond ready to be redeemed," said Ashley Carr, a spokesperson for Florida's Chief Financial Officer.

The state sued the Federal government last year for info on who owns what.

Last week. a Federal court sided with Kansas in a similar suit, and Florida believes it made much the same arguments.

"As the unclaimed property program, we want to be the most robust in the nation," said Carr. "We would like to make sure savings bond information is just another part of the way we are able to inform Floridians of unclaimed property."

Often given as gifts, they can take decades to mature, but are reliable investments for those who don't mind the wait for their bonds.

"That money ought to eventually be given to somebody. A charity," said Bill Finney, a Carrollwood resident. " What good does it do sitting there? Give them a time limit and take it."

If you think you have unclaimed property, you can head to: