You may be surprised by just how many people find out that they have money or property waiting for them through the state’s Unclaimed Property program. In fact, with more than $3.4 billion in unclaimed property currently being held by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, about one in 10 residents are eligible to recoup that property.
Unclaimed property is described as any financial asset that has been left inactive by the owner for a period of three years or more. The most common kinds of unclaimed property include savings and checking accounts, uncashed checks, unclaimed insurance benefits and items abandoned in forgotten safe deposit boxes. The amounts can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars.
The Treasury Department is required to advertise the names and addresses of unclaimed property owners in their last known county of residence, but only if the property is valued in excess of $250. The names and addresses of unclaimed property owners appear in the newspaper only once per year, even though they may be owed multiple pieces of property. With fewer people reading newspapers and possibly moving outside the county, this strategy of notification is limited at best.
To find out if unclaimed property may be waiting for you, simply log on to the Treasury Department’s website at patreasury.gov
and follow the instructions. It’s quick and easy to do a search of your name. If you discover you do have money or property waiting for you, instructions are also available through the site about how to claim it.
If you would like assistance with searching the database and filling out the application to receive unclaimed property, you can also contact my office. Assistance is free, and we are always happy to help. My Corry office is located at 434 North Center St
. and the telephone number is (814) 664-9126.
I caution individuals to be wary of services or “finders” that charge costly fees to help locate unclaimed property. There is certainly no need to pay someone to help with the search and application when assistance is free through state offices, such as mine.
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman