Matured U.S. Savings bonds go unclaimed every year. According to ABC News Correspondent Elisabeth Leamy, there were approximately 25 million uncashed bonds on record during the fall of 2008. Many people forget they have bonds since they often receive them as gifts. Add to that the 30 years it takes for a bond to reach full maturity and it is easy to see why so many are never cashed in. There are billions of dollars of bonds ready to be cashed in and some may belong to you.
Visit the U.S. Treasury Department (see Resources) and begin your treasure hunt. The system has records of Series E savings bond purchases going back to 1974. Any bonds purchased before 1974 or bonds that have not reached maturity (were purchased 30 or 40 years ago) will not be in the electronic database.
Click on the "Start Search" button at the bottom of the page to begin your search. Enter a relevant Social Security number or employer identification number (EIN) and click search.
Wait to find out if there are any bonds purchased for the Social Security number you entered.
Complete the appropriate PDF form available at Treasury Direct to discover if you have any lost, stolen, destroyed or undeliverable bonds. Mail in the completed form and wait for a response. This can take some time since the bonds have to be searched for manually.
You will need to check each Social Security number (SSN) or EIN that you think there might be uncashed bonds. This includes the SSN or EIN for dependents, deceased relations and anyone you might have received an inheritance from. Go ahead and take a few minutes to look,.