HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced Tuesday that the commonwealth returned more than $135 million in unclaimed property during 2021.
Treasury also returned 229 military decorations and memorabilia to veterans or their families, Garrity said in a press release.
“Treasury has more than $4 billion in unclaimed property – and I will work tirelessly to get it back to the people it rightfully belongs to,” Garrity said. “This money is owed to hardworking Pennsylvanians across the state, and I encourage everyone to visit our website to see if you have any unclaimed property waiting to be returned.”
To search the Pennsylvania Treasury’s unclaimed property database, visit patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property.
The Treasury also has a dedicated unclaimed property database to help reunite veterans and their families with military decorations and memorabilia. The 229 pieces returned in 2021 included two Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star which were returned to veterans’ families.
“As a veteran, my favorite part of the job is returning military decorations and memorabilia to veterans and their families,” Garrity said. “They deserve our respect and admiration for their selfless commitment to serving America. Returning these priceless items is a small but important way to say thank you.”
Garrity and her staff are working to return more than 500 additional military decorations and memorabilia from every branch of service and most major conflicts, including Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars.
Residents are encouraged to search at patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/medals to see if they or their family have military items waiting to be claimed.
Unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, abandoned stocks, uncashed checks, and more. Property is always available for the rightful owner to claim. Tangible property may be auctioned after three years, but proceeds remain available to claim in perpetuity, Garrity said.
Military decorations and memorabilia – often turned over to Treasury from abandoned or forgotten safe deposit boxes – are never auctioned and remain in the vault for safekeeping until a veteran or their family is found.
“One in ten Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property, and the average value of a claim is $1,500,” Garrity said. “That can make a huge difference for a family trying to make ends meet.”
To prevent your money from becoming unclaimed property:
- Inform financial institutions of any address changes.
- Communicate with financial institutions at least once every three years.
- Keep up-to-date records of bank accounts, stocks, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, and all other financial information.
- Tell a family member or trusted advisor where you keep your financial records.
- Cash all checks as you receive them.
Other unclaimed property highlights in 2021 included:
- The completion of the first major system upgrade in more than 15 years, which made it easier to file a claim, by shortening processing times for many claims, offering online authentication and submission of some claims, and improved checkout systems.
- The return of nearly $100,000 to Bucks County.
- The first unclaimed property auction since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- A Special Master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that more than $10 million of unclaimed property held by Delaware lawfully belongs to Pennsylvania.