Lost US Savings Bonds

The U.S. Treasury Department’s database covers millions of assets waiting to be adjudicated to its rightful owner, among them the most popular gifts and investments given, U.S. Savings Bonds. More than 50 million Americans own US Savings Bonds. All US savings bonds stop earning interest at final maturity forty years or less from the issue date. After 30 or 40 years of accruing interest some bonds could be worth more than four times its original face value. The US Treasury is holding $1.3 billion in Savings Bonds issued before 1939 which have never been redeemed and thus are considered lost U.S. Savings Bonds.

Lost U.S. Savings Bonds

It is important to check your bonds to make sure that they are still earning interest. This is especially true for Series E and all Saving Notes since (unlike the H and HH series) one does not receive regular interest payments from the Treasury. If your bond is no longer earning interest, you should cash them so your money is working for you. Below is a schedule of bonds that are no longer earning interest.

Each year, over 15,000 savings bonds and 25,000 payments are returned to the Department of the Treasury as undeliverable. In addition, billions of dollars in savings bonds have stopped earning interest, but haven’t been cashed. Treasury Hunt, the Department of the Treasury’s Division of unclaimed property for savings bond, tells you about savings bonds no longer earning interest.

Do you or a deceased loved one who own a savings bond, or registered Treasury note or bond that has matured and is no longer earning interest? Own a savings bond that you haven’t received in the mail, have HH/H interest that you haven’t received, have Legacy Treasury Direct payments that you haven’t received?

The amount of unredeemed US Savings Bonds that have reached maturity presently exceeds $11 billion – up considerably in the last five years. One explanation for the dramatic increase – we’re in a time period when both 30-year and 40-year bonds issued during the peak of this type of investment are now coming to final maturity. Also only bondholders of Series H and HH who receive regular interest payments from the Treasury are notified when their bond reaches maturity. Series H and HH only represents less than 2% of all bonds. The other 98% of all bondholders are not notified when their bond reaches maturity and even if notification was attempted, many addresses would not be current.

In addition to missing savings bonds, over $190 million in registered US Treasury securities have stopped earning interest and haven’t been redeemed. Each year, over 15,000 savings bonds and 25,000 bond interest payments are returned to the Department of the Treasury as undeliverable.

All bondholders including the popular Series E must initiate action to replace lost, unclaimed or unredeemed bonds. The Bureau of Public Debt, a US. Federal Government agency holds these unclaimed bonds, therefore State unclaimed property databases will not contain unclaimed or undeliverable bonds and interest payments..

If you stumble across savings bonds that have stopped earning interest, or you think you may have had a bond or two as a kid, go to treasurydirect.gov/indiv/indiv.htm and look under “Treasury Hunt.” We can help access and locate database and resources to claim your lost US Savings Bonds and determine if your Bond is still earning interest.