NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More than 4,000 people who participated in a class action lawsuit against Citizens Property Insurance never claimed their settlement portion. The state Treasury has moved millions in settlement dollars to the state's unclaimed property program, part of a much bigger pot of money that goes unclaimed every day.
Some of the more than $600 million in the Louisiana State Treasury right now could belong to you. Say you move without leaving a forwarding address - your utility or apartment deposit ends up in the state Treasury. Maybe your relative forgets he or she opened a savings account for you when you were born - that money goes there,too. Now, $7.7 million just got added to the pot of unclaimed dollars, money from a class action lawsuit involving hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the state's insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
"After the storm, the first major storm, Katrina, Citizens made some mistakes, violated the law in terms of getting things settled, and there was a class action filed," explained State Treasurer John Kennedy.
Most people have received their portion, but Kennedy says about 4,600 others haven't.
"It's about $7.7 million. Average claim, about $1700. And that money, I have insisted it be turned over to me as state treasurer so it becomes part of our unclaimed property program," Kennedy said.
By law, if there's been no activity for a certain period of time, a business must turn your money over to the Treasury. To find out if you're in that number, go to www.latreasury.com. Look for the "unclaimed property" link and search your name and city. You can also search your street and city.
If you're owed money from the Citizens, under "description" it will simply list "class action" for privacy and security reasons, and it never lists a dollar amount above $100. You'll only see a note that the amount is greater than $100.
"People always say, 'I don't have any lost money, I couldn't have lost money.' You go on that website and play around with it, put in names, your name, your friend's name, your relative. You can even put in your street name and find money for your neighbors," Kennedy said.
He explained there's no time limit. You can claim money when you want. The unclaimed property account changes all the time, so if you're not in that number today, you could be there tomorrow.
If you have a consumer question or complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders at 1-877-670-6397, fill out our online complaint form or email us at email@example.com