BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – If you’re missing bonds you left in a safety deposit during Hurricane Katrina 17 years ago, you might want to pay close attention to a recent announcement from Louisiana State Treasurer John M. Schroder.

“This is a very rare story, but it goes to show that you never know what may end up as unclaimed property,” said Schroder.

Schroder is talking about old bearer bonds that were recovered and listed as unclaimed property, but nearly two decades after one of Louisiana’s most memorable hurricanes battered these shores a set of once-submerged bearer bonds have been recovered.

Schroder says the bonds were in an old safety deposit box and have a cash value of more than $250,000.

“That’s why I encourage people to call our offices and check it out before you discard it as something insignificant or trash,” said the State Treasurer.

These particular bonds were previously held in one of Whitney Bank’s safety deposit boxes in New Orleans. After the bank flooded during Katrina in 2005, the owner, who has since died, put them in a plastic bin and left them in an attic for at least 17 years.

The heir is apparent when it comes to these particular bonds, but it took the Louisiana Department of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program to discover that yes, the bonds were still of value.

The Department of the Treasury paid out $250,000 to the heir of the formerly-soggy bonds after serial numbers matched with numbers the state had on record. The bonds had previously been listed as unclaimed property.

Did you lose old bonds in Katrina, or at any other time? Consider calling the Unclaimed Property Program at 888-925-4127 or visiting them online here.

Lost or forgotten money in the form of royalties, unclaimed cash, stocks, securities, bonds, and insurance proceeds may be waiting for you. In fact, one out of every six people in Louisiana has unclaimed property.

Checks totaling millions of dollars are waiting to be discovered by their rightful owners.

Do you have unclaimed property?