WCCBI Partnering with PA Treasury Dept. for Unclaimed Property Clinic

April 16, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry is partnering with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to host a free Unclaimed Property clinic on May 9, 2024.

The clinic will be held at the WCCBI office on Market Street from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Heidi Villella from the Treasury Dept. will be on hand to help guide residents through the property claim process.

“This event is a great way to help people find unclaimed property that’s owed to them, and I’m thrilled to be working with the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry to make it happen,” Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity said. “We’ve returned more than $1.8 million to residents of Warren County over the past three years, and we’re working hard to return another $5.4 million. Everyone is still getting hit by inflation with high prices at the grocery store, and the price of gas is climbing again – so every dollar can make a huge difference for families right now. I want to get this money back into the pockets of hardworking Pennsylvanians.”

Unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, abandoned stocks, uncashed checks, saving bonds, and other tangible assets such as collectible coins, sports cards, jewelry, military medals, and antiques.

The Treasury Dept. said it is working to return “more than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property.” According to the department’s numbers, more than one in 10 Pennsylvanians is owed unclaimed property and the average claim is $1,600.

“The Treasury receives hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed property every year, often because of something as simple as a misspelled name or a bad address,” WCCBI Director of Operations Savannah Casey said. “What Heidi is offering is a FREE way to get YOUR money back. In this day in age, especially with the uptick in scammers, we are all wary of the word ‘free,’ but I can 100% validate this is NOT a scam. Heidi ran my personal information to check in the system.”

Individuals can search for unclaimed property through a database, on their own, at www.patreasury.gov. At the clinic, Villella will help attendees navigate the system to file their claims quickly and easily.

Not just for individuals, businesses can have unclaimed property as well.

“The most common unclaimed property seen in any size business are checks that have not cleared,” Casey said. “The business must perform reasonable outreach once an unpaid check is identified. This outreach can include reviewing the checks for mistakes, contacting the employee if perhaps their residency has changed, or contacting the vendor in question. We all know that things get lost in the mail as well. So, this is a great way to provide another internal audit to make sure a local business is aware of every aspect of its operations.

“During times of economic hardship, some states see unclaimed property as a sustainable nontax revenue source. The unclaimed property amounts may appear small, but overlooking them could become expensive in the long run. If your business fails to report unclaimed property within specific timeframes it might cause issues down the road. So, why not at least come and find out if your business has any unclaimed property owed to them?”

The clinic, Casey said, not only puts a local face on the Treasury Dept. but will return local funds to their rightful owners.

“This is a great partnership for our organization to help spearhead,” Casey said. “If we can help the local community reclaim their properties owed to them, that’s a win-win.”

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