WEST CHESTER (July 7, 2021) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta reminds Chester County residents to check with the Pennsylvania Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property to see if they have property – including military decorations – waiting to be claimed.
Nearly $4 billion in collectibles, dormant bank and retirement accounts, jewelry, military medals, stocks, and uncashed checks in Pennsylvania are waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners. These unclaimed properties may include money from uncashed checks, rebates, or forgotten stocks, as well as items from safe deposit boxes.
One in ten Pennsylvanians have unclaimed property, and the average property claim is worth $2,000.
“Chances are you or someone you know has property waiting to be claimed,” State Senator Carolyn Comitta said. “Searching the online registry is the first step. If you find you are owed property, my staff can help you navigate the process to claim it.”
Residents can search the registry by visiting www.patreasury.gov or calling the Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property toll-free at 1-800-222-2046.
Recently, the unclaimed property website was upgraded to improve search capability, enhance security features, expedite processing time, and allow for online authentication and real-time approval of some claims.
“One of my top priorities is returning the nearly $4 billion we have in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. These upgrades significantly improve the process by making the system as user-friendly as possible and by getting rid of unnecessary red tape. I encourage every Pennsylvanian to take advantage of these changes and search for unclaimed property that may be owed to them or their family,” Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity said.
In addition, veterans and families of service members are encouraged to check for unclaimed property as they may be owed military decorations and medals, including Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, and more.
To date, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property has returned 370 military decorations to veterans, including at least one Chester County resident. Still, currently 650 military decorations lay unclaimed in Pennsylvania’s Treasury. Veterans, service members, and their families can search a dedicated database of unclaimed Military Decorations at: https://www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/medals/
Unclaimed property is any financial asset that has gone unclaimed for a period of time, usually three years. Under Pennsylvania law, businesses are required to report this to Treasury, which serves as the custodian until it can find and verify its rightful legal owner.
Garrity reminded individuals that they can take some simple steps to prevent their property from ending up at Treasury:
- Keeping financial institutions informed of any address changes.
- Communicating with financial institutions at least once every three years.
- Keeping up-to-date records of financial information including bank accounts, stocks, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, etc.
- Letting a family member or trusted advisor know where financial records are kept.
- Depositing or cashing all checks as they are received.