HARRISBURG, PA--(Marketwired - June 10, 2013) - State Treasurer Rob McCord today announced that Treasury's unclaimed property program recently reached the $1 billion mark in collection of lost and forgotten money and valuables since he took office in January 2009. New innovations and efficiencies implemented by his administration have produced higher collections -- his office took in 41 percent more property in 2012 than in 2008, the year before he became treasurer.
As a result, the amount of money and property returned to owners has increased, while the state has received more than $600 million in revenue from the program during the past four-plus years.
"When we collect more dormant and forgotten property, it is a 'win-win' for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania -- either we return the property to the rightful owner, or we generate additional revenue for the state's General Fund without raising taxes or increasing debt," Treasurer McCord said. "This is a great example of a good government program that works for the people of Pennsylvania."
Since McCord took office in January 2009, Treasury has returned more than $440 million to businesses, non-profits, and citizens. The return rate increased by 15 percent during his first four years. Net revenue for the state went up by 62 percent.
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 Treasurer urged Pennsylvanians to make it an annual habit to search www.patreasury.gov for property. The property remains available to be claimed by the owners or their heirs in perpetuity. McCord's Return Team is currently seeking the owners of $1.9 billion in unclaimed property.
"Searching for unclaimed property is not a 'once and done' task -- we receive new property annually and are continually updating our free online database," Treasurer McCord said. "I urge all Pennsylvanians -- those who have searched before and those who have not -- to visit patreasury.gov to find out if there is unclaimed property waiting for them. And it is always free to claim your property directly from Treasury."
Under McCord, the state Treasury has 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.