The Pennsylvania Treasury Department has more than $4 billion in unclaimed property including funds from dormant bank accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, jewelry, medals, and more.
Can’t remember what you did with that diamond ring? Maybe the state has it.
The Pennsylvania Treasury Department currently has more than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property. According to the Treasury Department, 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property and the average claim is worth about $1,600.
Seeing as Feb. 1 is National Unclaimed Property Day, this is the perfect opportunity to check to see if the state has any money or property that is owed to you.
In 2023, the Treasury Department returned the most unclaimed property ever in a single year — almost $274 million.
What qualifies as unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property is any asset that is considered abandoned or dormant, including bank accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, trust distributions, and utility security deposits. Tangible property, which is held in the Treasury’s vault, includes items like collectible coins, jewelry, military medals, stamps, and antiques. These physical assets come from abandoned safe deposit boxes, evidence from police departments, and other institutions such as colleges, hospitals, and nursing homes.
But the state will only hold your property for three years before auctioning it off. The Treasury held an unclaimed property auction last October with more than 4,200 items being sold for a total of nearly $300,000, the most ever generated by an auction. The highest selling item was a collection of 25 early baseball tobacco cards, including Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and other Hall of Famers that sold for $27,000. Other high-priced items that sold at auction were platinum and diamond engagement rings, Vietnamese gold bars, and a set of US proof collectible coins.
According to state Treasurer Stacy Garrity, all proceeds are carefully logged by the department and remain available for the rightful owners to claim no matter how much time passes.
“We work for at least three years to find the rightful owners of every item that comes to the Treasury’s vault,” Garrity said. “But eventually, we do have to auction items to make room for incoming property.”
How do I find out if I have unclaimed property?
Don’t let your property be auctioned off. Check to see if the state has your valuables. It’s easy.
Go to the Treasury Department’s Unclaimed Property page and search the database.
“We recommend folks try multiple variations of their name when searching (i.e: Michael, Mike, etc.),” Treasury spokesperson Samantha Heckel said. “Businesses can also have unclaimed property waiting and can search the same database.”
Heckel said if someone finds they do have unclaimed property, they will need to fill out some forms and, depending on the amount, present some documentation. The site will take anyone with unclaimed property through the whole process.
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