HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Veterans Day approaches, State Treasurer Rob McCord today said the Pennsylvania Treasury is seeking to return $162,813 in unclaimed property that belongs to veterans and organizations dedicated to serving active and past service members. The Treasurer noted efforts are underway already to return much of these funds to rightful owners, but it is still important to check the department's free online database to see whether a person or organization is owed property.
"Our veterans and their families have made incredible sacrifices to protect our democracy and our freedom, but they often face challenges that create real economic hardships upon completion of their service," Treasurer McCord said. "I believe government agencies – and we as a society – should be there to help those who have served and make sure they have access to all available resources and support. Our work to return unclaimed property to veterans and military support organizations is one way we can say 'thank you' to these brave men and women."
More than $56,200 of unclaimed property in Treasury's possession belongs to veterans' organizations, such as American Legion and VFW posts. So far, his staff has initiated claims for more than $29,200 of that property to 74 rightful owners. Treasury is also working with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to return nearly $81,000 in unclaimed property to VA offices throughout Pennsylvania.
Treasurer McCord said a number of claims are associated with military addresses, including army depots, naval bases, and air stations in the United States and abroad. Efforts are underway already to return $15,400 of this property, but more than $10,400 in additional property tied to these types of addresses is still available to claim via www.patreasury.gov.
The property owed to veterans and military support organizations is only a fraction of the $1.9 billion in unclaimed property Treasury is now working to return to people, businesses, nonprofits, local government, and community organizations, among other groups.
Treasurer McCord stressed that 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 Treasury. As a result, 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.
The Treasurer encouraged everyone to search Treasury's free unclaimed property database at www.patreasury.gov 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.
Since January 2009, the McCord Treasury has collected more than $834 million in property, returned more than $386 million to rightful owners, and generated about $448 million for the state's General Fund through the Unclaimed Property Program.
To learn more about Pennsylvania's Unclaimed Property Program or to search for property, visit www.patreasury.gov or call 1-800-222-2046.
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Source: Pennsylvania Treasury