Nearly $50 million owed to Pennsylvanians sharing surnames with signers of the Declaration
Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced today that Treasury is looking to reunite Pennsylvanians with ties to Independence Day with some of the nearly $4 billion in unclaimed property waiting at Treasury.
In 1776, nine Pennsylvanians signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia: George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, John Morton, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, George Taylor, and James Wilson. Nearly $50 million worth of unclaimed property is currently owed to Pennsylvanians with the same last names —Clymer, Franklin, Morris, Morton, Ross, Rush, Smith, Taylor, and Wilson.
“Independence Day celebrations are a great time to reflect on the impact our state had on the founding of our nation. They’re also a great time to see if the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, founded in 1777, has any unclaimed property that belongs to you. One in ten Pennsylvanians is owed property, so there’s a good chance that includes someone at your cookout this weekend.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
Garrity is working to reunite Pennsylvanians with more than $4 billion in unclaimed property. The average claim is worth about $2,000.
Property such as uncashed checks, abandoned bank accounts, stocks or safe deposit boxes are turned over to Treasury after three years of dormancy or inactivity, or two years for payroll checks.
Treasury recently completed the first major upgrade to the unclaimed property system in more than 15 years, making it easier than ever for Pennsylvanians to claim what is theirs. Visit patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property to see if you, your family or your friends are owed unclaimed property.
Taking a few simple steps can help make sure your property doesn’t end up at Treasury:
- Keep financial institutions informed of any address changes.
- Communicate with your financial institutions at least once every three years.
- Create and keep up-to-date records of bank accounts, stocks, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and all other financial information.
- Let a family member or trusted advisor know where you keep financial records.
- Cash or deposit all checks as you receive them.
NOTE: Images and video of items in Treasury’s unclaimed property vault are available to the media upon request.