Unclaimed money

Pa. Senate passes bill that would automate returning unclaimed property to residents

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tuesday afternoon the state Senate unanimously approved a measure that could expedite the return of unclaimed property held by the state treasurer to thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity says if approved, she’d like to get checks out by Christmas.  

On Tuesday afternoon, all fifty state senators approved a bill called money match.

“That’s really exciting because it has broad bipartisan support,” Garrity said.

Garrity says the bill, if approved by the House and governor, would allow her to return some unclaimed property to individuals without putting the burden on citizens to fill out forms.

“What this bill would allow Treasury to do is to proactively return up to $5,000 for a single owner, individual that’s living, as soon as Treasury would confirm and verify the identity through a thorough vetting process,” Garrity said.

Garrity says she’s sitting on $4 billion of unclaimed property, and she knows who some of it belongs to, but the owners, who may not know they have unclaimed property, have not filed the right forms. Money Match will give her the authority to send out checks directly.

“Four billion dollars is a lot of money, but it doesn’t belong to the state. It belongs to our hard-working Pennsylvanians, so I want to get it back to them,” Garrity said.

But she can do nothing until the state House acts, and so far, surprisingly, there is no sponsor of this bill in the state House. Garrity says that’s likely to change now that the Senate unanimously acted.

“It does have very wide bipartisan support, so I expect it to move quickly,” Garrity said.  

If Gov. Shapiro signs the bill this summer …

Delano: “How quickly can you get money out the door to Pennsylvanians?” 

Garrity: “Right. So we have already been working on this behind the scenes. I expect it will take four to six months.” 

Delano: “So it’s conceivable if the House acts and the governor acts quickly, this could be a Christmas gift, a Hanukkah gift, a holiday gift?”

Garrity: “It sure could, and that would be the goal, for sure.”

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