State site helps in hunt for funds

The Louisiana Department of the Treasury launched an e-government application last month designed to help constituents find, trace and recover unclaimed property funds.

DynTek's Unclaimed Property application enables present and former citizens of Louisiana to inquire online about missing or unclaimed property funds owed to them by the state. Unclaimed property includes payroll checks, checking and saving accounts, royalties, utility deposits, dividends, interest, stock certificates and life insurance proceeds.

Benny Spann, the director of unclaimed property for Louisiana, believes that the new application is a great public service to those who may have unclaimed property in Louisiana.

"We want to make it easier for the public to find out if they have unclaimed property, and at the same time cut them a check as quickly as possible," he said. He also said that the online forms saved people time, compared with the old paper-based system, which could take several weeks to process.

The searchable unclaimed property database is available via the department's Web site (www.treasury.state.la.us) and is accessible by anyone with an Internet connection. No password is needed to gain access to the site.

According to Denise Schlumbrecht, the regional sales manager for DynTek, people are able to query the data by last name. "If they have a claim, they fill out online forms and submit them," she said. For security purposes, those who cannot scan their licenses and submit them via the Web must go to the state treasury department to claim their check.

As a result of online inquiries and claims, the state has returned over $2.1 million to citizens. That is more than double the amount of money returned through mail-in claims.

The application was funded by Louisiana for less than $50,000.

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