State Treasurer Rob McCord returned more than $17,700 in unclaimed property to the United Steelworkers Monday, as he encouraged businesses and organizations across Pennsylvania to search the unclaimed property vault to see if they, too, are owed some of the $1.9 billion in unclaimed property the treasury currently holds.
"The United Steelworkers have a long history of advocacy and action on behalf of Pennsylvania laborers, and this unclaimed property can help support the union's ongoing effort to build a better future for working men and women," McCord said. "I hope the steelworkers' claim will encourage other organizations to search and find out if they have unclaimed property waiting for them."
The $17,738 McCord presented to United Steelworkers officials was from a combination of union dues, dividends, account payable checks, credit balances, checking accounts, refunds and rebates.
"This is a good example of how government and our union work together for the benefit of our members and their families," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
Channel 11's Timyka Artist talked to a woman who was in the audience and checked the site during the presentation and found out she was owed $100.
“I love things like this. It’s free money, very exciting,” Maria Somma said. “It was very simple to use. I put in my name and it said I had a check for $100. I’m claiming it and I will gladly pay my union dues based on that.”
McCord said Pennsylvanians have about a one-in-10 chance of finding some in their name. The treasurer offered two easy ways to find out: visit www.patreasury.gov and type in your name in the search box, or call 1-800-222-2046, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A member of Treasury's Return Team will assist with their search and the claim process.
The treasurer noted people and organizations usually do not know they are owed property because "holders," or entities that hold property owed to others, are not required under state law to contact the owner before remitting it to the treasury.
“We like returning money to Pennsylvanians,” McCord said. “Sometimes it’s an escrow account, a security deposit or a small paycheck that was left behind.”
As a result, the treasury each year receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property in the form of abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
Since January 2009, the treasury has collected more than $858 million in property, returned more than $419 million to rightful owners, and generated about $439 million for the state's General Fund through the Unclaimed Property Program.