NEW YORK (MainStreet) – We might make every dollar count in our day-to-day lives, but occasionally we can lose track of our assets.
Take savings bonds, for instance. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, thousands of payments are returned as undeliverable ever year, and billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest but have yet to be cashed in by the owners. That’s free money that’s gathering dust and losing value due to inflation – the equivalent of a stack of bills under the mattress.
Fortunately, the Treasury has a way of helping Americans find out if they’ve lost money. If you visit TreasuryHunt.gov, you can punch in your Social Security number to see if you have a windfall waiting to be claimed. The system has its limits – it’s only for Series E bonds issued after 1974 that have reached maturity – but it can allow you to snag some money that rightfully belongs to you. And if you’re the heir of a deceased person who you think might have had bonds to which you’re entitled, you can enter their Social Security or Employee Identification Number to find out. (Obviously you’ll need to prove through legal documentation that you’re the rightful owner of that money.)
Since the last Series E bond was issued in 1978, a lot of people won’t have a bond waiting for them. But if it’s as easy as plugging in a Social Security number, it can’t hurt to try.