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News from the Treasurer

2014 Holder Book!

Solved! “Cold Case” Claims for Unclaimed Property!
Treasurer Hollenbach revives old claims with new technology

Frankfort, KY. (June, 2014) –If you’ve had a claim for some unclaimed property that has gone cold because of a lack of proof or documentation, you may soon find an approved claim in your mailbox!  Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach has provided the hard working staff of the Division of Unclaimed Property some new technology that is reviving those “cold case” claims and moving others on a faster track.
“We are using the technology to process and approve old claims that have been held up because of a lack of documentation or evidence provided by the rightful owner to prove the claims,” Treasurer Hollenbach said.   “The staff is going through all the old claims from the last three years where a letter was sent to the claimant requesting more information to approve the claim but the additional info was never returned.   The Accurint software our staff is now using allows them to match up names, addresses and social security numbers on claims with little or no additional proof to approve the claims for payment.”
The Treasurer estimates these revived “cold case” claims that would otherwise have been discarded after three years for a lack of proper documentation, currently making up about a third of the claims paid each week.
Additionally, the Unclaimed Property staff created in the Treasury database, a list of unclaimed properties that include a social security number.  Now, after the claims staff completes their normal daily duties, they are devoting extra time to pro-actively search the list and mail out claim forms to the individuals listed using the Accurint technology.  “These individuals have NOT contacted us,” the Treasurer added, “We are searching for them!
The initiatives are part of Treasurer Hollenbach’s innovative Treasure Finders “120 in 120” project.  The Treasurer has set a goal to conduct a Treasure Finders event in all 120 Kentucky Counties and return $120-Million in unclaimed property to the rightful owners.  Currently the Treasurer has returned more than $107-million and will be visiting Letcher County and Knott County in the coming weeks as he continues to reach out to every county in Kentucky.

You don’t have to let your claim go “cold”!  Find out if you’ve got some unclaimed cash or family valuables coming to you by searching the unclaimed property database at www.MissingMoney.com.

 

August

Treasurer Hollenbach Warns of Unclaimed Property Email Scam

 

Frankfort, KY (August, 2013) State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach is warning Kentuckians to be on guard against fraudulent emails alleging that they have unclaimed property. A deceptive email is being sent stating that it is from “Regional Auditor, Mrs. Alexis James,” of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). The message promises the recipient that they have inherited a large sum of money from a deceased relative and more details will be provided once personal information is given.  Several weeks ago, Treasurer Hollenbach informed the public that several business firms were attempting to “sell” individuals an unclaimed property search.

 

“This is far more insidious,” Treasurer Hollenbach stated.  “While I previously informed the public that the majority of firms that provide these services work within the law, this email being sent to people is nothing more than a con-artist attempting to steal identities.” (For a copy of entire fraudulent email message visit: http://www.unclaimed.org/uploads/resources/229/fraudulent-unclaimed-property-email-message-2.pdf.)

 

Treasurer Hollenbach stated that there is no such person who works for NAUPA, nor does the organization notify owners of forgotten or missing funds. Further, the Kentucky State Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division does not email individuals to inform them of unclaimed funds. 

 

“My Treasure Finders program works with local volunteers who spend time calling members of their community as part of our initiative to return unclaimed property,” Treasurer Hollenbach stated.  “I created the Treasure Finders program in Kentucky as a proactive way to reach out and let Kentuckians know about lost money and other assets being held for them by their state treasurer. But we do not send emails as part of that outreach.” Treasurer Hollenbach added that if any individuals receive an email claiming to come from his office, making this or similar assertions, they should contact Kentucky State Treasury directly. 

 

To contact Kentucky State Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division, call toll free 1-800-465-4722 or securely search for unclaimed property at www.MissingMoney.com

Municipal Bonds

Don’t fix it… If it isn’t broken

Recently, I was one of the first state treasurers in the nation to sign onto a letter from the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) urging members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to maintain the current tax exempt status for municipal bonds.

The White House and congressional tax writers have proposed a cap on the current tax exempt status of municipal bonds.  While this proposal may be well-intended, I believe it is misguided and should be reconsidered. 

It is an issue that could have long-term ramifications for Kentucky’s budget and our public infrastructure projects.  State and local governments use municipal bonds as the primary means of financing highways, bridges, transit systems, airports, water and wastewater systems, schools, higher education facilities and many other public projects. 

According to a recent report from “Transportation for America”: Of Kentucky’s 13,842 bridges, over 1,300 are structurally deficient.  Millions of Kentuckians use these deteriorating bridges.  Bridges in rural counties serve as a life-line for communities to jobs, medical services and the inflow of needed staples like food.  Urban bridges carry high volumes of traffic and are important arteries for regional economic centers.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education 226 of Kentucky’s 486 primary and secondary school buildings are over 50 years old. They estimate that it will cost $3.7 billion to bring all of Kentucky’s aging schools up to standard.

These projects create jobs and stimulate economic growth.  Capping the tax exemption at 28 percent for top income earners, as proposed, could drastically reduce investor demand for municipal bonds, thereby increasing financing costs to states and localities.  Higher financing costs could lead to higher state and local taxes and limited public investment in infrastructure.  Additionally, a 28 percent cap is likely to have a disruptive effect on the bond market.  Applying the cap retroactively would immediately reduce the value of bonds held by investors. 

The negative public policy implications could be dramatic. As we saw in December 2012, the bond market experienced dramatic rate increases in reaction to proposals to cap tax exemption as part of the fiscal cliff debate and investors’ concerns that Congress and the administration might consider a change to the tax exempt status of municipal bonds.

As the president pointed out in his State of the Union Address, “What our businesses need most: [are] modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, and modern schools worthy of our children.”   I could not agree more!  The need in our state to upgrade and maintain our bridges and roads and the need for jobs that this maintenance creates has never been greater. 

The fact is that tax exempt municipal bonds save states and localities billions of dollars each year in financing costs. Access to a healthy tax exempt municipal bond market has served as a responsible and effective way to bring private capital to public projects and promote local decision-making based upon local priorities and needs assessments.

Eliminating or reducing the tax exempt status of these bonds will result in fewer projects, fewer jobs, and a continually deteriorating infrastructure.  It will threaten economic growth by making it more costly for governments, and ultimately taxpayers, to finance these projects.

As Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I welcome discussion of new ways to meet our shared financial challenges.  However, any new tool should be in addition to –not instead of—the primary financing mechanism that states have used for over a century to fund critical infrastructure projects.  I will continue to stand with my fellow state treasurers from across the United States on this issue to insure the tax exempt status of municipal bonds remains in place. I encourage all Kentuckians to contact their U.S. Representatives and let them know that our safety, security, and financial prosperity should be their first priority.

Let’s not dismantle something that works!

 

Todd Hollenbach

Kentucky State Treasurer

Member National Association of Treasurers

 

 

State Fair

Treasurer Hollenbach Helps Hundreds Find Treasure at Kentucky State Fair!

Over 2000 Claims Initiated at Treasure Finders Booth During 11 day Run! 

 

Frankfort, KY (August, 2012) – From unclaimed treasure of as much as $14-thousand in stock found by a surprised mother of three to a woman who jumped for joy at claiming $14 dollars for an unredeemed gift certificate, those are the kinds of success stories that came out of the Treasure Finders booth at the Kentucky State Fair this past week.

 

Treasury Booth at State FairOver 2000 claims valued at more than $350,000 were started by the 11 Kentucky Treasury employees who put in a total of 228 hours of work at the Fair

 

“The Treasury booth was clearly one of the most popular spots of Main Street Kentucky in the south wing of the Fairgrounds in Louisville,” Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach said.  “We helped fair goers as young as 7 and as old as 93 find their unclaimed property with the oldest property found from as far back as 1953!” Hollenbach added.

 

The questions most asked by fair goers at the Treasury booth, ‘Is this for real?’ and ‘How much does it cost?’ Of course the answers are ‘Yes it’s real!’ and “The Treasury charges only one dollar of the proceeds from each successfully processed claim over ten dollars.’

 

The State Treasurer serves as custodian of all property surrendered to the state that is presumed lost or abandoned.  Each year, the Kentucky Treasury returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property to Kentucky residents.  Since 2008, under the proactive leadership of Treasurer Hollenbach and his Treasure Finders Program, the Treasury has returned a record $ 90-million in unclaimed property.

 

To find out if you’ve got some unclaimed cash coming to you, search the unclaimed property database at www.KYTreasury.com or if you don’t have access to the internet, you can call Treasury’s Unclaimed Property office toll-free at 800-465-4722. 

 

Treasury Information

Kentucky State Treasury
Todd Hollenbach           StateTreasurer                                                

1050 US Highway 127 South, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601                            
Map of Treasury Location   

Hours

8:00am -  4:30pm      Monday - Friday                

Telephone                                                           (502) 564-4722 - Office
(502) 564-6545 - Fax

General E-mail:
treasury.web@ky.gov

Unclaimed Property:
unclaimed.property@ky.gov

Go to the Commonwealth's Tax Assistance Web Page http://www.assistance.ky.gov/


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