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

Archive for February, 2014

FAQ Unclaimed Property: What Is Unclaimed Property?


WHAT IS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY?

Generally, any financial asset that has had no activity by its owner for a period of 1 year or more. This includes savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed dividends, stocks, customer deposits or overpayments, certificates of deposit, credit balances, refunds, matured life insurance policies and uncashed death benefit checks. The law also requires that utility deposits, unclaimed wages and property resulting from business dissolutions be reported as unclaimed property after one year of inactivity. The Unclaimed Property Act does not include real estate.

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FAQ Edvest: Do I have to Use My Account at Wisconsin College or University?


No. The money in your account may be used at any eligible educational institution. This includes public and private colleges and universities, graduate and post-graduate schools, community colleges, and certain proprietary and vocational schools.
 
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Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: America Saves Campaign Starts!


Small Logo CroppedThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Womens Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.” Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.  This week, the annual America Saves campaign started!

This article has a breakdown on things you can do each day this week to help reach your savings goals.  CLICK HERE to read more and start SAVING with us!WWBIC


Treasurer’s Top 5: Manitowoc County


Manitowoc

This week, we travel to Manitowoc County.  Here’s a look at the Top 5 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you see anyone on this list you know?  If so, have check out  www.wismissingmoney.com and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

Manitowoc County

Kenneth and Violet Walesh

Shirley M Wimmer

Louis Wydener

Marion Pacetti

Randy H Janing


Money Matters: The Credit Card Act and What the Law Means for You


The Office of the State Treasurer keeps an eye on Wisconsin’s money and we’d like to help you keep an eye on yours with the help of our friend at www.practicalmoneyskills.com.  Part of that responsibility also means keeping an eye on the laws which impact your pocket book.

Credit cards offer many advantages. There is the convenience of being able to buy needed items now and the security of not having to carry cash. You also receive fraud protection and in some cases rewards for making purchases.  Rounding out our month of February committment to teaching you about credit, we want to assure you know about the laws surrounding it and how they impact you.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act), which became law on May 22, 2009, affords consumers more detailed information and expanded options in the area of credit.

As a result of the Act, consumers are afforded:

  • Safeguards against rate increases
  • Improved billing practices
  • New fee restrictions
  • Increased disclosures
  • New protections for consumers under 21

 Safeguards Against Rate Increases

  • Under the Credit CARD Act, rate increases are prohibited during the first year and promotional rates must last for six months or longer.
  • The Act prohibits “double cycle billing,” where credit card holders are charged interest on debt that is paid on time during a grace period, and “universal default,” where a lender changes a loan from the normal to the default terms when the consumer defaults with another lender.
  • After the first year, cardholders must be notified of significant changes to the terms of an account 45 days before the changes take effect. New rates may not go into effect for 14 days after the notice of change is mailed. The consumer will also be afforded the option to cancel the account and pay off the balance at the existing rate.

 Improved Billing Practices

  • The Credit CARD Act allows consumers 21 days to pay their monthly credit card bills (compared to the former minimum of 14 days).
  • Payment due dates must fall on the same day of each month.
  • Consumers must be allowed three weeks between the time a bill is mailed and the time it’s due.
  • Under the Act, credit card statements must appear in a specific font size for easier readability.

 Fee Restrictions

  • In almost all cases, consumers can’t be charged for which method they use to pay their credit card bill (by check card, phone, mail etc.).
  • The Credit CARD Act limits fees consumers can be charged for spending over their credit limits.
  • There are new limits to the fees consumers can be charged on subprime cards.

 Increased Disclosures

  • Consumers must be provided with disclosures about how long it will take them to pay off a balance if only minimum payments are made.
  • Credit card agreements must be available to consumers online.
  • Under the Credit CARD Act, billing statements must include the payment due date, the minimum amount due, the ending balance and detailed information about late fees.

 Protections for Consumers Under 21

  • Under the Act, consumers under 21 will only be able to get a credit card with proof of their ability to make payments independently or the help of an adult co-signer.
  • The Act restricts incentives given to students who sign up for credit cards.

 Consumers should handle credit card accounts responsibly and spend within their means to build good credit while avoiding falling into debt. For more information on using credit wisely, view our information on Credit and Debit.

To read the Credit CARD Act of 2009 in its entirety, click here.

Credit cards offer many advantages. There is the convenience of being able to buy needed items now and the security of not having to carry cash. You also receive fraud protection and in some cases rewards for making purchases.  In February, we’ve learned credit terminology, the pros and cons of using credit.  Now, you want to know how much it will really cost you to use?


FAQ Unclaimed Property: Why Does Wisconsin Have An UP Law?


WHY DOES WISCONSIN HAVE AN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY LAW?

The law was enacted in 1970 to enable Wisconsin residents to search in one place for missing funds.  After 1 to 5 years of inactivity Wisconsin businesses are mandated to turn over all unclaimed money, stock, and safe deposit box contents to the State Treasurer’s Office.  This process relieves businesses from the expense and liability associated with carrying unclaimed property on their financial records.  Most importantly, the process benefits Wisconsin residents because the State Treasurer’s Office makes an active effort to reunite all rightful owners with their unclaimed property.

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FAQ Edvest: What Are My College Savings Choices?


Compare College Savings Choices

Your future college student will have many schools to chose from: in-state public colleges; private, non-profit universities; liberal arts-focused and technical institutions. And, you have many choices of as to how you are going to save for their college education.

 

The savings options you choose depends on:

  • how many years you have to save
  • your overall financial goals
  • your investment preferences

With average college costs rising, now is a good time to start saving. Use our interactive tool to compare college savings options:edvest