More than half a billion dollars reunited with owners since 2009 under strong push to collect dormant and forgotten property
The Pennsylvania Treasury returned $111 million in unclaimed property to rightful owners or heirs in 2013, the highest yearly return amount since the start of his administration, State Treasurer Rob McCord announced last week. This brings the total of lost and forgotten money and items returned since January 2009 to more than $517 million, the Treasurer noted.
Unclaimed property collections in 2013 also reached a new high for the McCord Treasury – $281 million. Overall, since January 2009, the department has collected more than $1.1 billion in property, returned more than $517 million to rightful owners, and generated about $616 million for the state’s General Fund through the Unclaimed Property Program.
“In 2013, Treasury collected more dormant and forgotten property – $281 million – and returned more of it to rightful owners – $111 million – than in any other year since I took office in January 2009,” Treasurer McCord said. “Our goal at the McCord Treasury is to improve continuously the service we deliver to the people of Pennsylvania – and I look forward to building upon these strong results in 2014.”
Each year, Treasury receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property – things such as abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks, and contents of safe deposit boxes. The property remains available to be claimed by the owners or their heirs in perpetuity. Treasurer McCord’s Return Team is currently seeking the owners of $2.2 billion in unclaimed property.
Upon taking office in January 2009, Treasurer McCord placed an emphasis on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Treasury’s unclaimed property function to ensure a customer-friendly yet thorough and accurate claim process.
“Treasury serves as custodian of these lost and forgotten funds until we can find the rightful owner, so we need proof of entitlement,” Treasurer McCord noted. “But we also want to make claiming your property as easy and seamless as possible, which is why we’ve streamlined the claim process and made other enhancements to provide top-notch customer service.”
Additionally, to increase the amount of unclaimed property turned over to Treasury, Treasurer McCord and his staff members have improved communications with employers and outreach to businesses that may be holding abandoned money or items they are required to turn over to the state. Treasury also held a series of webinars to better educate them about the process. It made changes to the Bureau of Unclaimed Property’s audit procedures and to the voluntary disclosure agreement process to help entities holding property come into compliance with state law.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Unclaimed Property Program or to search for money and property, visit www.patreasury.gov or call 1-800-222-2046.