PA Treasurer Stacy Garrity said many unclaimed property claims are now being paid by direct deposit. Prior to the release of this new feature, all unclaimed property claims were paid by check.
“This upgrade will make it easier and faster than ever before for unclaimed property to get back where it belongs – into the hands of hardworking Pennsylvanians,” Garrity said. “Having the ability to return funds with direct deposit makes our system far more convenient for users – and it will save money as well.”
Treasury rolled out the new direct deposit feature last week. “Our soft launch went very well,” Garrity said. “I’m excited to offer this new feature, and I hope the fact that they can get their money more quickly and conveniently will encourage more Pennsylvanians to search for unclaimed property.”
Direct deposit is now available for claims of any dollar value filed by an individual owner or business owner with a U.S. address and U.S. bank account. Claimants must file a claim online and create an account to be eligible to receive funds via direct deposit.
Typically, direct deposits will arrive 7 to 10 business days after a claim is fully processed in Treasury’s system. Using direct deposit eliminates any delays associated with mail delivery, including lost and returned checks.
Treasury uses Account Validation Services (AVS) as an additional security measure to analyze payments before funds are released to a claimant’s bank account. AVS – which is now being implemented by all state agencies for which Treasury makes payments – uses bank account information and other unique identity data fields to confirm a payee’s relationship with the receiving bank account. Unclaimed property payments may still need to be issued as paper checks if Treasury determines a direct deposit cannot be made.
Direct deposit is not available for claims filed by finders or for those requesting international payments.
Under state law, unclaimed property is turned over to Treasury after three years of dormancy. Unclaimed property includes things like dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, forgotten stocks and bonds, insurance policies, contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, and more.
About one in ten Pennsylvanians is owed some of the more than $4 billion in unclaimed property being safeguarded by Treasury. The average value of a claim is $1,500.