BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving many households and businesses seeking money wherever they can. Louisiana’s treasurer says finding a small reward may be as easy as opening the mailbox.
Treasurer John Schroder’s office started mailing more than 45,000 unclaimed property checks — worth roughly $4 million dollars — at the start of April.
“You don’t have to do anything, and there’s no paperwork to fill out,” Schroder said. “It is the most favorite part of my job.”
Property often becomes unclaimed because of incorrect or old addresses. But because state law lets the state treasurer access the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s database of correct and new addresses, the money can return to its rightful owner.
“This money does not belong to the government,” Schroder said. “This is money that is lost, and the treasury is charged with returning it to the people.”
One in six people in Louisiana has unclaimed property. Each claim averages $900, though hefty exceptions exist. In 2018, a Louisiana resident got a $2.3 million unclaimed property check.
Those wanting to know whether they will get an unclaimed property check — but unwilling to wait for the mail — can check here.
Louisiana’s treasury has returned more than $550 million in unclaimed property since 1972. Schroder expects to send another batch of unclaimed property checks later this spring.