Billions are available in unclaimed property for Pennsylvanians
One in 10 Pennsylvanians have unclaimed property being held by the state, said Treasurer Stacy Garrity.
“Unclaimed property can be things like ... an old savings or checking account," she said. "It can be ... an uncashed check, it could be a utility rebate, it can be stocks, and it could be tangible items like jewelry, collector's items, that could be in safe deposit boxes."
The state treasury is holding onto $4.5 billion of Pennsylvanian’s unclaimed property. Garrity and state Senator Rosemary Brown were in the Poconos this week to discuss how residents can get their property back.
Garrity's first stop Monday was in Jim Thorpe. She presented a $5,000 check to Carbon County officials from unclaimed property the county was owed. Later, in Tannersville, she joined Brown at the Northampton Community College Monroe Campus. The treasury has over $28 million dollars in unclaimed property for Monroe County residents.
"We want to make sure that we get this down to almost zero," said Brown.
The property belongs to individuals, companies, organizations and local governments. It comes from banks, police evidence boxes, locker rooms and nursing homes, Garrity said, adding the average value is $1,600.
"During these times of really high inflation, like think about how much money it costs to fill up your gas tank or, or to buy groceries, $1,600 can go a long way to help struggling families make ends meet," she said.
Pennsylvania’s Finance Building has the largest working vault in the country. It’s 400 tons and was built in 1939. Behind its 60-ton door is also military decorations and memorabilia, including campaign ribbons, medals and World War II dog tags. There’s items from every branch of service, from every major conflict, Garrity said.
Since taking office in 2021, the treasury has returned 380 military decorations and memorabilia, including three bronze stars and six Purple Hearts.
Garrity, a veteran herself, said it’s important to return the military decorations to veterans and their families.
"Every medal is a symbol of the veteran or their family's sacrifice for our great nation," she said.
She’s also advocating for Pennsylvania Money Match. The act, introduced this year, would amend the fiscal code. It passed the state Senate and would allow the treasury to proactively return up to $5,000 to individuals in unclaimed property.
"Many people don't even realize they have unclaimed property waiting for them," said Garrity. "With Money Match they don't have to search and they don't have to fill out any forms."
Garrity said that would give the treasury access to return $20 million more a year.
"We're happy to safeguard unclaimed property, but it doesn't belong to the state. It belongs to our hard working taxpayers," she said.
To search for unclaimed property, visit patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property