Claim your lost money!

By Senator Ben Westlund of Tumalo, Oregon. He is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for State Treasurer. More information at

Ever heard of Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Program? Most people haven’t, yet there are a million of us who have money to claim. I am one of them, you might be too.

The program, currently managed by the Department of State Lands (DSL), holds un-cashed payroll checks, stock and bonds, safe-deposit box contents, insurance proceeds or refunds and bank accounts. In recent years, the Unclaimed Property Program has received an average of $38 million per year and has returned approximately $9 million per year to owners. As Oregon's next State Treasurer I will do everything in my power to help Oregonians claim what is rightfully theirs.

My campaign has declared May as Claim Your Lost Money Month and, because right now, it’s not easy to find the online search on the state’s website, we have designed a special portal website at to make it easier for Oregonians to search for their names.

During these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever for Oregonians to have someone who looks out for their best interest.

As State Treasurer, my plan to find and return more unclaimed property is simple.

I will:

I have a history of improving and advocating for better services. As a legislator, was the architect of the Oregon Cultural Trust, an innovative public private partnership designed to expand Oregon’s economy through investment in the Arts. I also proposed and passed legislation to create “The Fallen Officers” fund, from assessments on convicted criminals who put officers at risk, to provide much-needed financial assistance to families of public safety officers killed and critically injured in the line of duty. I helped craft the plan that became the Healthy Oregon Act to lower costs and improve health care quality.

In addition to advocating for state improvements, I will advocate for the federal legislation introduced by the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to create Operation Rightful Owner, a state and federal partnership to help return the money and share earnings with the states. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, almost $16 billion of mature U.S. savings bonds are unclaimed.

Over 400,000 Oregonians have $160 million in mature federal savings bonds that they may not even know about and the federal government is getting the benefit. As State Treasurer, I will fight for this legislation in D.C. and see that Oregonians get their money and the state gets our fair share.

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