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News from the Treasurer
Treasurer Hollenbach Puts Veterans First for Treasure Finders
Veterans Affairs Office will help promote the initiative!
Louisville, KY (November, 2015) – Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach is putting veterans and active military at the head of the line for processing claims for lost or abandoned property.
“Starting on Veterans Day this year” Hollenbach said, “the unclaimed property division of the Treasury will create new claim forms with a check box that reads, ‘check if you have military service’. When the checked form is returned,” Hollenbach added, “that veteran or active military will be given priority for getting his or her claim processed!”
Commissioner Heather French Henry of the Kentucky Division of Veterans Affairs said her office will help with promotional and education support for the new forms, “We’re proud to join with Treasurer Hollenbach in putting veterans first!” Commissioner Henry said. “We’ll get the word out to all of Kentucky’s veterans!”
This latest effort by Hollenbach is one of several he initiated during his term as Treasurer to help veterans find and receive their unclaimed property. Early on Hollenbach returned medals, memorabilia and other military honors from the Treasury’s unclaimed property vault. "Our vault in Frankfort contains over 350 unclaimed military items. Among them a bronze star, seven navy medals, two purple hearts, numerous battle ribbons and campaign pins, dog tags and dozens of military discharge papers including one from the Civil War!” Hollenbach said. “We owe it to our military service members to go the extra mile to return these items. Their stories deserve to be told, and their memories need to be preserved." Hollenbach also added a list of the names of the owners of military items on the front page of the State Treasury website at kytreasury.com
If you’re a veteran or active military service member searching for some lost property, all you need to do is visit www.MissingMoney.com and file a claim on line or you can go to www.kytreasury.com and look for the Military Items listing.
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 Todd Hollenbach and his Treasure Finder’s Program, the Treasury has returned a record $ 135-million in unclaimed property.
Hollenbach Leads Effort to Promote Savings Plan for People with Disabilities
Announces details of ABLE Act similar to 529 college savings plan
Frankfort, KY (October , 2015 ) – Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach joined disability rights advocates today in the Capitol Rotunda to announce details of the enabling legislation for the Federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.
“According to research by the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of poverty for people with disabilities, was nearly triple the poverty rate of people without disabilities,” Treasurer Hollenbach said. “This program, housed in the State Treasury, would allow Kentuckians to set aside funds for future costs related to their disabilities just as the 529 education savings plan does for future college costs.”
Lynn Braker, the parent of a 3 year old son with down-syndrome, said she believes everyone should have the right and the opportunity for a safe and secure future, “but my son and thousands like him in Kentucky will never be able to sustain themselves on their own because of the current limitations on eligibility requirements for government benefits. The ABLE Act gives our family a fighting chance to build a better future for our son!”
The proposed legislation has been pre-filed for consideration in the 2016 legislative session by co-sponsors Senator Will Schroder (R-Wilder) and Representative Mike Denham (D-Maysville).
“28 States have enacted similar legislation and our bill will give Kentuckians with disabilities a chance for a better life and a better future,” Denham said. Schroder added, “I’m looking forward to working in a bipartisan manner and getting the support needed to ensure that this bill, which would help so many Kentucky families, becomes a reality next session.”
The bill would allow any individual who is receiving, deemed to be receiving, or treated as receiving supplemental security income benefits or disability benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act to set up an ABLE savings account. Also eligible are individuals who are blind or have a medically determined physical or mental impairment, which results in marked and severe functional limitations. An ABLE account cannot receive more than $14,000 a year and the total amount in the account cannot exceed the limits for 529 accounts. Qualified expenses paid for by the account are those related to the individuals disability and include items such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, financial management , legal fees, funeral and burial expenses plus others.
Treasurer Hollenbach Finds Close to Half a Million for Louisvillian
Retells the story with the recipient on Great Day Live!
Louisville, KY (September, 2015) - Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach appeared on the WHAS TV program Great Day Live Tuesday morning with Fred Meyer, a retired engineer from Louisville and the recipient of nearly half a million dollars in unclaimed property from the Treasure Finders program.
Mr. Meyer's good fortune is the result of a Treasure finders Pilot project by Treasurer Hollenbach to seek out the rightful owners of high dollar unclaimed properties in Jefferson and Fayette Counties.
"Our thinking is if we can solve these hard to find high profile claims" Hollenbach said, "We can encourage others to search for their unclaimed property."
Meyers' story began in the seventies when he purchased an apple computer for his then ten year old son. He was so impressed with the computer, he decided to buy some stock in the company, 400 shares at $2 a share!
Over the years, the account was taken over by different brokers and Meyer lost track of the stock. Finally in 2008, by law the latest broker reported the stock to the State Treasury as abandoned property after failing to locate Meyer the previous three years. Four years later the Treasury sold the stock and placed the value in the unclaimed property data base. The stock had split and its value in 2012 was $461,000.00
A month ago, Treasurer Hollenbach's staff, using the latest search technology, located Meyer, processed his claim and handed him a check.
Meyer was so grateful to the Treasurer, he agreed to go on Great Day Live and tell his story in hopes of inspiring others to search for unclaimed property.
You can search for unclaimed property by going to MissingMoney.com or by calling toll free 800-465-4722.
In his eight years as Kentucky Treasurer, Todd Hollenbach has returned more than $135-million dollars worth of unclaimed property to the rightful owners of Kentucky through his Treasure Finders program.
||Treasury at the Fair
Treasurer Hollenbach Helps Find Lost Treasure for Thousands at State Fair!
More than 5000 Claims Initiated at Treasure Finders Booth in the South Wing!
Frankfort, KY (September, 2015) – One Louisville woman discovered an unclaimed insurance policy worth $4000 while a young man from Fayette County found a $50 utility deposit refund that he’d forgotten about. Those are just a couple of the hundreds of stories behind the thousands of claims started at the Treasure Finders booth during the 12 days of the just completed Kentucky State Fair.
“We helped fairgoers file a record 5000 claims worth more than $760-thousand dollars,” said Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach. “I attribute the record numbers to our all-digital unclaimed property list. Folks were able to come right up to the booth and search our unclaimed database on one of several laptops with my staff providing assistance in getting the claims process started,” Hollenbach added.
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 Finder’s Program, the Treasury has returned a record $130-million plus in unclaimed property and is still in possession of more than half a billion ($500,000,000) dollars that the Treasurer is working to return to its rightful owners.
To find out if you’ve got some unclaimed cash coming to you, search the unclaimed property database at www.MissingMoney.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.
Treasurer Todd Hollenbach Hosts Webinar for State Treasuries
Details Kentucky’s experience with initiating a new banking contract
Frankfort, KY (August, 2015) – With 47 representatives from state treasuries and the banking industry watching and listening, Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach today hosted a two hour webinar detailing the Kentucky Treasury’s experience in initiating a new banking contract.
“In 2010, after 85 years working with the same small local bank, we had to make a change to meet our needs,” Treasurer Hollenbach told the group. “Little did we know at the time, the great challenge we would face in making the transition. Now five years later we’re just getting to the point where the process is smoothing out and we wanted to pass along the lessons we learned so that other treasuries that are about to go through a similar changeover, don’t do so blindly.”
Deputy Treasurer Dr. Eugene Harrell, a 33-year veteran of Kentucky Treasury operations, outlined several points to consider when seeking a new banking relationship. “Be flexible in your relationship with your new bank,” he said. “Be prepared to adjust your processes to accommodate what your bank has to offer. And get to know your bank’s customer service representative. Getting a good one is the key to success!”
The webinar was sponsored by The National Association of State Treasurers which seeks to provide advocacy and support that enables member states to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs.
||Boys and Girls State
Treasurer Hollenbach Hosts Boys and Girls State Treasurers
Frankfort, KY (June, 2015) - Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach welcomed Omar H. Abul-Khoudoud of Russell, Kentucky and Caitlin Hertzendorf of Fort Campbell, Kentucky for a personal tour of Kentucky State Treasury.
Both students were elected as State Treasurer within the annual American Legion Kentucky Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Kentucky Girls State Programs. Kentucky Boys State, in its 75th year, and Kentucky Girls State, in its 69th year, provide high school students education about city and state government by allowing participants to be involved in simulated political parties, campaigns, elections and appointments.
“It’s a real hands-on experience for these young people. They have the opportunity to practice and gain insight into how government and the political process work. They hold elections, write and pass bills, and debate real issues facing Kentucky and the United States.” Treasurer Hollenbach said. “This participation is invaluable to these young people. The program takes exemplary students, like Caitlin and Omar, and it cultivates their interest in how our commonwealth and country work. Many graduates of these two programs go on to become real life representatives in government and leaders within our community. Neil Armstrong, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and President Bill Clinton all participated in this program. I have no question of the great value and importance of it.”
Treasurer Hollenbach talked with the students, discussing what their goals are for their education and careers. After visiting his office, the two were taken for a behind-the-scenes look at what Kentucky State Treasury does and how it operates. The students had the opportunity to ask questions of each division. They learned how checks are printed and the volume of checks for which Kentucky Treasury is responsible. They visited the Deposit Room and discovered the technological updates that have taken place in just the past few years in making deposits more efficient and cost effective. And they spent time in the Kentucky vault learning about how Kentucky State Treasury comes into possession of unclaimed property and the great efforts that are made to return that property to the rightful owners.
“These were two bright, young people, with excellent questions and excellent futures.” Treasurer Hollenbach added. “I have a deep respect for the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary for their hard work in bringing about the leaders of tomorrow. They truly hold our future in their hands.”
Treasurer Hollenbach Works with State Auditors to Maintain a Cyber Secure Treasury!
Frankfort, KY (February 4, 2015) – In an effort to ensure that Kentucky State Treasury is technologically secure, Treasurer Hollenbach and his staff have worked closely with state auditors to identify the areas in which improvements can be made to increase cyber security.
“Our review shows that we have developed the necessary security plan to properly protect sensitive information,” stated Treasurer Hollenbach. “Unfortunately, state budget constraints have slowed our ability to see the completion of that plan.” Treasurer Hollenbach continued, “This isn’t an uncommon problem with state agencies. Computer technology is progressing at an unfathomable rate. Unfortunately, the advances made by those who would use technology for their own nefarious purposes are progressing almost as rapidly.”
While Kentucky State Treasury has developed the proper plan for taking security measures to protect any intentional or unintentional access or misuse of information, the state budget has not fully allocated the funds to complete those measures.
“We’re pleased to have added a highly experienced Network Analyst to our staff who has worked with Department of Defense level encryption and security,” said Treasurer Hollenbach. “And our IT division’s first priority is protecting Treasury from cybercrime.”
In addition to having added a new Network Analyst III to its IT staff with extensive experience in Department of Defense level encryption and .Mil network security, Kentucky State Treasury has also further separated employee computer information access to ensure that no single individual has complete access to financial processes or information. Kentucky State Treasury has been working with the Commonwealth Office of Technology to perform password security tests, to ensure staffs are consistently changing passwords and all passwords maintain “anti-hacking” standards.
Treasurer Hollenbach Proposes Kentucky Retirement Account
State Representative Martha Jane King of Logan County to sponsor Retirement Savings Plan Bill!
Frankfort, KY (February, 2015) – Entitled the KYRA Bill ( pronounced kigh-ruh) which stands for Kentucky Retirement Account, Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach told reporters in a Capitol rotunda news conference in Frankfort today that the proposed legislation allows the Commonwealth to act as a catalyst to make available a privately run retirement savings plan for all Kentuckians who lack access to a plan at their workplace.
“There are 786-thousand Kentucky workers who could take advantage of the Kentucky Retirement Account Program”, the Treasurer stated. “KYRA will provide an opportunity for them to insure they have enough income to support themselves when they retire.”
State Representative Martha Jane King of Lewisburg, the primary sponsor of the bill said, “The goal of this legislation is to promote financial freedom, give Kentuckians a choice, give employees control, save taxpayer dollars and do it in such a way that there are no ongoing costs or risks to employers or the state.”
Treasurer Hollenbach outlined the essential points of the bill, “It will be privately administered similar to the management of the Kentucky Deferred Comp system for public employees.
It will be voluntary with a default auto enrollment unless the employee decides to opt out.
It will be portable. Workers can take their plan with them if they change jobs. It will cost employers nothing and it will cost the state nothing.”
The Treasurer expressed gratitude to Representative King for her support and leadership on the issue. The Treasurer was also grateful for the endorsement of his proposal by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Research by AARP found that inadequate retirement savings is a major concern.
“Failure to save adequately for retirement,” Representative King stated,” will lead to increased burdens on a costly and already overburdened social service network costing taxpayers millions of dollars. And if action is not taken quickly this crisis threatens to plunge many of our seniors into poverty, disrupt entire families, and impact our overall economy”, she added.
Treasurer Hollenbach's Financial Literacy Bill Passes in House
Frankfort, KY (February 24, 2015) – Today, House Bill 375, a bill to create a Kentucky Financial Literacy Commission was passed in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
“We’ve got a lot of public support for moving Kentucky forward in financial literacy,” said Treasurer Todd Hollenbach. “This is something we need in our commonwealth and I’m glad the House agrees.”
Sponsored by Representative James Kay, the bill would create a Kentucky Financial Literacy Commission that would make its focus to increase the college savings rate, the rate of retirement savings, provide a resource for everyday money management, and free resources to parents and educators to utilize for teaching children about money.
“This commission would be set up as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, paid for by corporate donations and fundraising by the commission. No general fund dollars will be used to fund the commission,” said Treasurer Hollenbach. “Most importantly, we’ll be providing a resource for Kentuckians, uplifting the financial position of our citizens and therefore our Commonwealth as a whole,”
The bill is modeled after a similar bill which passed into Tennessee law in 2010. Since the commission was created in Tennessee, their state has risen to be a national leader in financial literacy, receiving the highest ranking given by The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College.
“Our neighbor to the south has made tremendous strides toward goals we also seek here in our Commonwealth,” stated Treasurer Hollenbach. “This bill and commission is modeled by their success, and I feel it is only prudent to use a model already proven to be effective in advancing our own state. I hope to see the support for this initiative in the Senate that the House has given it,” continued Hollenbach. “This is something that Kentuckians really want and need.”
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
||Cold Cases Solved!
Solved! “Cold Case” Claims for Unclaimed Property!
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.
Treasurer Hollenbach revives old claims with new technology
“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.
Treasurer Warns of Another Phone-y Scam
Scammers threaten court action if you fail to phone back!
Frankfort, KY (October, 2015) – Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says scam artists are at it again, this time calling Kentuckians and identifying themselves as a “pre-trial intervention” organization leaving behind a vague and mysterious message.
The messenger says they have “a pending case in our office that requires your immediate attention!” and goes on to state, “It is imperative that I speak to you or your attorney of record immediately today.”
The caller gives a Washington state phone number to call and warns, “If I do not hear from you or your attorney, I will document that you’ve waived your right to counsel and submit your case!” The message ends with this ominous advice from the caller “Govern yourself accordingly!”
"This call is an obvious scam to obtain personal information,” said Treasurer Hollenbach. “Legal actions or notice of legal actions are normally handled by mail, not over the phone.”
If you do receive a call you can report it to Attorney General Jack Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection at 888-432-9257 or visit ag.ky.gov for more information on scam calls.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some legal tender that you’ve left unclaimed, Treasurer Hollenbach suggests searching the unclaimed property database at MissingMoney.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.
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 Finder’s Program, the Treasurer has returned a record $ 135-million in unclaimed property.