Might have unclaimed property in Pa.? Here's how to recover it
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislation recently proposed in Pennsylvania would authorize the state treasury to automatically return some unclaimed property.
And for people wondering whether they have unclaimed property, state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, will hold an event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206 in Allentown.
- State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, will hold an event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206 in Allentown for people wondering whether they have unclaimed property in Pennsylvania
- A bill recently introduced in the state Legislature would authorize the state treasury to automatically return some unclaimed property
- Officials say there are billions of dollars in unclaimed property in Pennsylvania
“Currently, billions of dollars in unclaimed property like checks and safety deposit boxes is being held by the Pennsylvania Treasury and it needs to be returned to the rightful owners,” Schweyer said in a news release.
“I encourage anyone who thinks they might have unclaimed property to give my office a call and find out if there’s a pot of gold waiting for you.”
The new bill, called Pennsylvania Money Match, was announced by state Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin, and state Treasurer Stacy Garrity.
What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property is property that financial institutions, such as banks or estates, turn over to the government after a certain period of dormancy during which the property hasn’t been touched.
The dormancy period varies from state to state, but in Pennsylvania, that can be two to 15 years, depending on the kind of property.
For example, if you leave a job and never collect your last paycheck, the company has two years before it must turn those funds over to the state.
“So right now the individual that owns property or, you know, if it's part of the estate, the relative, they have to go in, and actually ask for their property back," Garrity said.
"And that's by statute. So what this would do, would allow us to automatically give it back, as long as they meet those criteria, like I told you, as far as being a single-owner property. And it's up to $5,000.”
“Currently, billions of dollars in unclaimed property like checks and safety deposit boxes is being held by the Pennsylvania Treasury and it needs to be returned to the rightful owners.”Pa. Sen. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh
Asked about people possibly gaming the system, Garrity said, “the potential for fraud is extremely low.”
Garrity said the state matches names and addresses to the property owner and that Social Security numbers are involved, but to avoid giving any more information to “fraudsters," he declined to give further details about how fraud is prevented.
Garrity said there's $4 billion in unclaimed property in Pennsylvania.
One in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property, for an average claim of about $1,600.
The process will work from newer claims to older claims, Garrity said.
People also can go to https://patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/ to put in a claim for any property in their name.
“I'm hoping that this legislation gets passed quickly," Garrity said. "It's very bipartisan. So people on both sides of the aisle really liked it, they really support it.
“And I think right now, when you look at the economy and you look at inflation, that if we can get money back to hardworking Pennsylvanians that can really help alleviate the stress of when you go to buy groceries, the price of groceries, the price of gas, utilities, all of that stuff.
"So I think it's a great way to help people that probably don't even know that they have this money waiting for them."