The Pennsylvania Treasury is hoping to return more than $4 billion in unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property can include physical property, like the contents of a safe deposit box, but most often it refers to uncashed paychecks, stocks or dormant bank accounts that haven’t had any activity for a year or longer. After the dormancy period it becomes “unclaimed” and is turned over to the state.
The Pennsylvania Treasury can auction the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes after three years, but the proceeds are always available to claim. Military decorations and memorabilia are never auctioned and are kept until a veteran, or their family is found.
“We’ve made several valuable improvements to our unclaimed property system recently to help people get their money back faster than ever – including adding direct deposit in November,” state Treasurer Stacy Garrity said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to visit our website today to see if any unclaimed property is waiting to be returned to you or your family.”
The state Treasury returned more than $211 million dollars’ worth of unclaimed property in 2022 — the most money returned in a calendar year since 2018 and the third most over the last 16 years. The Treasury also returned 90 military decorations and memorabilia to veterans or their families.
According to state treasury officials, one in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property. The average claim is worth about $1,600.
To prevent your money from becoming unclaimed property, officials recommend informing financial institutions of any address changes, communicating with financial institutions at least once every three years, keeping up-to-date records of bank accounts, stocks, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and other financial information, cashing checks as you receive them, and telling a family member or financial advisor where you keep your financial records.
To see if you have any property to claim, search the treasury’s database here.