Just last month, back in August of this year, Pennsylvania State Treasurer released about $24,000 in unclaimed property to be given back to it’s rightful owners. It is estimated that almost 2 billion dollars in unclaimed property and money exists in the United States. With all of these funds and properties being turned over to the state treasury it leaves a lot of work and responsibility to try and get it all back to the rightful owners.
While the Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Rob McCord, was visiting the Court House in Luzerne County he said, “This money belongs to the citizens of Luzerne County, so I am pleased we are able to put it back into their hands today. I applaud the initiative of leaders here who stepped forward to investigate and to pursue this claim. We hope the news of this reunification reminds other local governments to take a moment and see whether they or the agencies and departments under their jurisdictions are owed unclaimed property, too.”
The money that was returned to the county as well as it’s residents was in the form of rebates, tax refunds, uncashed payroll checks and even uncashed escrow checks from new home purchases and personal home loan refinancing.
With about 18 million out of the 2 billion in unclaimed property and funds belonging to organizations, local businesses and the people of Luzerne County, every little bit they are able to release and return the the rightful owners really helps. With these unclaimed properties and funds mainly coming from banks and utility companies it makes it very easy to track it all down, it just takes time. Unclaimed property from other resources like security deposits for homes and apartments or refunds from old life or car insurance claims or policies are much harder to track down if you don’t keep track of your personal finances.
Through a chain of command from the Luzerne County Manager to the state controller, a request to track down quite a bit of unclaimed property and funds was sent out. This amount of over $24,000 in these unclaimed funds and properties came from this simple request. So this goes to show that not only should individuals be keeping better track of their finances but with the right people working for the State and Government we will continue to be assisted in getting it all back to the actual owners. Let me warn you that keeping better track of your finances will help but it might not mean you will not be a person with unclaimed property and funds owed to you. Since state law does not require these entities that are holding onto this unclaimed property and funds to report them or contact the owners prior to turning it over to the treasury, quite some time could pass by before an individual may actually even be able to claim these types of funds or property.
McCord is hoping that by placing unclaimed property and funds back with the rightful owners it will then in turn be used to stimulate the economy in the Luzerne County area.
Although Luzerne County unclaimed property is currently still on the rise, government officials are always stepping in to try and aid in getting these funds and properties back to the actual owners. Many state treasurers and controllers are hoping that along with the advances in government, bank and financial technology that better tracking systems will prevent a nationwide epidemic like this from ever happening again.