- About one in 10 Pennsylvania residents have unclaimed property waiting to be claimed
- The amount of unclaimed property statewide totals more than $4 billion, including $34 million linked to Erie County addresses
- Use state Treasury Department’s online search tool to see if your name is on list of unclaimed property
If you are hoping for a windfall, check with the Pennsylvania Treasury.
It has $33,711,154.03 in unclaimed property that belongs to Erie County residents. Claims for Erie County residents total 326,597.
To get the unclaimed property, your name has to be on the Treasury’s list. And you have to file a claim.
But the money and property are there.
About one in 10 Pennsylvania residents have unclaimed property waiting to be claimed, the Treasury said. Statewide, the Treasury is holding more than $4 billion in unclaimed property, including the nearly $34 million connected to Erie County as of April, the latest month for which figures were available.
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In 2021, according to the Treasury, 1,316 claims were paid to Erie County addresses totaling $983,395.11.
In previous years in Erie County:
- 2020: 876 paid claims totaling $1,216,725.76
- 2019: 1,349 paid claims totaling $1,122,127.21
- 2018: 1,420 claims totaling $2,749,853.91
- 2017: 2,003 totaling $2,052,384.15
“The majority of our claims paid in general, which would apply to claims paid to Erie County residents, are from: stock, dividends, savings accounts, checking accounts, and life insurance death benefit checks,” Treasury spokeswoman Samantha Heckel said.
Jewelry, other property also in play
The state Treasury also holds tangible property, such as jewelry, that was left behind in abandoned safe deposit boxes, for example, or that had been in the possession of colleges, hospitals and nursing homes. Unclaimed police evidence also can end up with the Treasury.
“The money will always be available for the owner to claim,” Heckel said. “Even if it’s in 10, 50, or 100 years. It will always be there.”
“As for tangible property,” she said, “we typically auction that off after three years if we can’t find the owner or if the owner doesn’t come forward. But the money from the sale will always be available in perpetuity for them. In other words: If we sell a watch tomorrow, and the owner of that watch comes forward in 10 years, they will receive the money that it went for at auction.”
A big exception to the Treasury’s usual procedures concerns military decorations. They are never auctioned, Heckel said.
“We keep those forever in hopes of finding the owners” or family members of the owners, she said.
Erie County in top 20
As of April, Erie County ranked 17th out of the state’s 67 counties in terms of the amount of unclaimed property. The top five counties are:
- Philadelphia: 2,945,535 claims; $627,819,646.8
- Allegheny: 1,881,170 claims; $349,441,423.17
- Montgomery: 1,339,265 claims; $228,607,107.72
- Delaware: 972,547 claims; $149,447,467.43
- Bucks: 993,683 claims; $117,018,475.69
“Returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners is one of my highest priorities because this money belongs to the people, not the government,” state Treasurer Stacy Garrity said in a statement. “This money belongs to Pennsylvania families, nonprofit organizations and businesses that deserve to have it returned to them.
“The sooner they get their money back, the sooner they can use it to pay bills, save for the future or invest in their local economy.”
Finding what is yours
To search the Treasury’s unclaimed property database, visit patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property.