The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for October, 2011

October a Record Month at the State Treasury

We had another huge month at the Wisconsin State Treasury and returned $3,740,415 million in unclaimed property in October 2011.

We had one day of returns that topped $1 million and another day where claims examiners returned more than $973,000 to owners. Our goal is get these assets back to the rightful owners as quickly as possible.

 The $3.7 million dollar month is the second highest month of returns in the history of the office.  In November 2010, the office returned $5,185,680.  Last year, the Office returned a record $32.8 million and is working to beat that total in 2011.

We have also started a weekly online event called “The Treasurer’s Top 5”.  I am listing the names of 5 people or businesses in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties who have the highest amount of unclaimed property. You can see these names right here on this blog! Tomorrow, we will have the Top 5 for Jefferson County.

You can search for unclaimed property 24/7/365 at our website,



October eBay Auction Final Numbers

The October eBay auction wrapped up October 30th. 30 of the 31 Lots sold and brought in $21,734.92. The only lot that didn’t sell was a comic book saver – where someone could preserve a valuable comic and display it.

Best selling items – gold rings went for more than $3,000. The silver coinage did very well with the Silver Dimes bringing in $2,550 and the Liberty Half Dollars selling for $2,200.

All of the money returns to the Unclaimed Property fund and will be there ready to be claimed by the owners or their heirs.

The monthly 2011 auctions have brought in close to $200,000 this year. Last year, we brought in $110,409.43, so we have surpassed that record by quite a bit. We actually surpassed it in June.

The November auction will begin just in time for Black Friday and will, hopefully, feature some very nice jewelry pieces. That will depend on what we find in the Safe Deposit boxes we are about to go through starting this week.

State Treasurer Continues Making National Headlines

This morning, I was on Good Morning America putting a $10,000 check into the collection plate at a Neenah Church and now, my efforts to return forgotten cash have made headlines in a national financial magazine, The Fiscal Times.

Daily, I am searching for people in Wisconsin who have no idea the State Treasury is holding their money. I spend hours on the phone trying to find them or their heirs and get them claim forms or I am searching for them using social media. That’s what The Fiscal Times hit on in a piece posted this morning.

These are all great reminders to search for money on our website…and to s arch for your friends, your family, and your church or your favorite businesses! With nearly $400 Million and 1.8 million properties, there could be something out there for you.

Show Me The Money! Returning $10,000 to a church in Neenah!

I appeared on ABC’s Good Morning Americatoday returning nearly $10,000 to the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Neenah. The money was left to the church by a parishioner in the form of US Savings Bonds.

One of our Unclaimed Property examiners had been cataloging the savings bonds we are holding in the State Vault and came across these bonds which totaled $9,9647.40 made out to Trinity Lutheran. After determining that the owner had passed, we went through the process of getting these funds to the church as quickly as possible because they had no idea we were holding them…and probably never would have.

Parishioner Amy Larson bought the bonds in the mid 80’s and early 90’s made them out for the church and left them in a safe deposit box. After she passed away there was no family to claim the box so it was sent to the Office of the State Treasurer.

This summer, my office began the process of creating a database specifically for savings bonds and that is how we came across the bonds for Trinity Lutheran. We are holding more than $350,000 (face value) in savings bonds.  There are more than 3,000 bonds in our vault waiting to be claimed.

When you head to and click on the magnifying glass on the front page you’ll be taken to our main database page.  If you look on the left column, you’ll see another link called “US SAVINGS BONDS”.  Click that and begin your search for savings bonds!

To watch the story from Good Morning America, visit out YouTube Channel –  Also, here’s two links to the previous story we did with Good Morning America where I returned $60,000 to the Wisconsin Humane Society!

Related articles

The Economy and You #13: A Regional Consumer Price Index

In my last article,  I described how the national Consumer Price Index or CPI represents the spending patterns for all goods and services for all urban consumers (denoted as CPI-U) which represents about 87 percent of the total U.S. population.

On a monthly basis the national, or U.S. City Average,  CPI is published including the various components used to calculate the CPI.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also publishes CPI indexes (both CPI-U and CPI-W) for the four census regions: Northeast, Midwest (formerly North Central), South, and West.  Monthly indexes also are published for urban areas classified by population size: all metropolitan areas over 1.5 million, metropolitan areas smaller than 1.5 million, and all non-metropolitan urban areas. Indexes are available as well within each region, cross-classified by area population size. The BLS also publishes indexes for 27 local areas. These indexes are byproducts of the national CPI program.  Each local index has a much smaller sample size than the national or regional indexes and is, therefore, subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error. As a result, local-area indexes are more volatile than the national or regional indexes.

BLS publishes three major metropolitan areas monthly: 1) Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI; 2) Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA; and 3) New York-Northern NJ-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA.

Data are published for another group of 13 metropolitan areas on a semiannual basis. These indexes which use 6-month averages (January-June and July-December) are published with the release of the national CPI for July and January respectively in August and February.  These metropolitan areas that include Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii, also include two Wisconsin metropolitan regions: Milwaukee-Racine,WIand Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI.

Anyone can receive recorded summaries of CPI data by calling any of the following CPI hotlines:

Milwaukee: 414-276-2579

Minneapolis-St. Paul : 612-725-3580

Chicago: 312-725-1883

If you want to find more information about the CPI, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a website that contains extensive information on the CPI including historical data and explanations of how the data is collected and compiled. Visit

Treasurer’s Top 5: Rock County

Here are the top 5 people/businesses in Rock County who have money/assets that belong to them but they don’t know it! The State Treasurer has been holding unclaimed property since the 1970’s.  Have you searched for your missing cash?

Rock County

JATCO Office Worker Trust – Janesville

Deloris Poh – Clinton

Charles Johnson – Janesville

Kyle Nobles – Beloit

David Heggy – Clinton

If you know these folks or relatives, please let them know they need to make a claim with the office. They can also call us at 877-699-9211!

Legislative update

Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed AB 275 (read a previous AB 275 update here), by a unanimous vote of 93-0 (5 absentees, 1 vacant seat). The legislation was received in the Senate today, and should begin proceeding through that body soon. This legislation would enable the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to make Revenue Obligation Loans to municipalities, thus granting an added level flexibility to both municipalities and the BCPL.

Meanwhile, AJR 26, the bill to eliminate the Offices of the Secretary of State and State Treasurer, should be scheduled for a vote before the full Assembly very soon. I will post any updates here.