State’s unclaimed property program falls short of enough funds to pay out all claims


BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — If you have money in the state’s unclaimed property fund, you might have some delays in getting that money back due to budget sweeps.

State Treasurer John M. Schroder announced that the program’s fund is currently less than would be needed to pay the entirety of claims back. A similar shortfall also arose in Sept. 2018. Currently, the program has a balance of $632,715.

As such, people and businesses may need to wait several weeks to claim their money. Schroder said businesses typically remit lost money to the state in October, which would generate enough money to resume paying claims.

The fund has been the subject of some fighting between Shroder and Gov. John Bel Edwards. Edwards won court approval to use the fund to shore up state budget shortfalls, much to Schroder’s disapproval.

“Unclaimed Property isn’t the state’s money,” said Schroder. “It belongs to the people and businesses of Louisiana. We shouldn’t have to delay returning people’s money to them. I’m thankful the citizens of Louisiana will be able to vote Nov. 3 on whether to place Unclaimed Property into a trust fund. A trust fund will prevent future shortfalls. Unclaimed Property is the people’s money. They shouldn’t be told to come back in four weeks to claim it.”

Schroder said Constitutional Amendment No. 7 will create the Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to protect Unclaimed Property beginning July 1, 2021. Through the fund’s investment earnings, it also will create a state revenue source that doesn’t raise taxes or spend people’s Unclaimed Property.

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