Complete your claim forms and mail them as soon as possible to:
The documentation required to complete a claim varies, depending on who is claiming the property (the owner or a legal representative of the owner) and the type of property being claimed. There will be instructions specific to your claim on your claim forms. However, if additional information is required to process your claim, a return team member will contact you. Your claim cannot be processed until we receive all the necessary information. Please remember to sign your claim forms.
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property will honor personal Powers of Attorney as long as we receive a certified copy of the POA, signed by the owner. The POA may execute the claim forms on behalf of the owner. Please note, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property requires all powers of attorney submitted to comply with 20 Pa C.S.A. Section 5601. Therefore, each power of attorney will need the required notice signed by the principal and required acknowledgement executed by the agent.
Proof of ownership is usually established by address or Social Security verification, or, in some cases, presentation of the original property. Sometimes, the claimant is not able to verify that he or she lived at the last known address that was reported to the Bureau of Unclaimed Property. In these cases, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property will do everything we can to assist you in establishing ownership. If the Bureau of Unclaimed Property is not successful in finding a connection to an old address, you may be asked to do further research, such as contacting a former school district, tax bureau, or church. When all efforts have been exhausted and ownership cannot be proven, you may be required to obtain a letter of verification from the company that reported the property. The Bureau of Unclaimed Property takes into consideration other factors that may lead to payment of the claim. In most instances, claims of this nature are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Personal identification information relating to unclaimed property claimants, including Social Security numbers, is confidential. The Treasury Department does not make such information available to the public or to third parties engaged in business as “finders” of unclaimed, lost, or abandoned property.
Treasury makes available publicly advertised lists of owners of unclaimed property. These lists do not contain the amounts of the property or the Social Security numbers of owners.
Treasury is required by the Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act to sell all shares after being reported by a holder. According to Section 1301.17(e) of the DAUPA, “The State Treasurer shall be required to sell all stocks, bonds and other negotiable financial instruments upon receipt of such items. The State Treasurer shall not be held liable for any loss or gain in the value that the financial instrument would have obtained had the financial instrument been held instead of being sold.”
If the owner of the property is deceased, unclaimed property claims can be paid under certain conditions.
If the unclaimed property is valued at $11,000 or less and it has been at least five (5) years since a personal representative to the estate was appointed, the property may be paid to the surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the decedent (preference given in that order), provided the owner died a resident of Pennsylvania, 20 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3101 (e).
The person claiming the property must be appointed personal representative to the estate by the court (and will be required to present a short certificate) under any the following conditions: If the property is valued at over $11,000, it has been less than five (5) years since the appointment of a personal representative, or no estate exists and you are a niece, nephew, grandchild, or other relative.
If the owner died intestate (without a will), an administrator may be appointed by the Register of Wills office in the county where the decedent resided. A claimant may petition the Register of Wills to be appointed as the administrator. The administrator is responsible for distributing the decedent’s estate according to 20 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3101 (e). The Register of Wills may grant Letters of Administration (sometimes called a short certificate) which BUP may use to validate the appointed administrator.
If the owner died testate (with a will), the executor must place the will on file with the Register of Wills, who will in turn grant Letters Testamentary (sometimes called a short certificate). The decedent’s estate is distributed by the executor according to the will.
If the owner’s estate is still open or the property is over $11,000, a short certificate is required. A short certificate (sometimes called Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary) is a certification that an estate proceeding is on record in the Register of Wills office in the county where the decedent was legally domiciled at the time of death. A short certificate can only be issued if the estate exists. The decedent’s will must be probated or an administrator appointed by the Register of Wills.
If the decedent properly completed the claim prior to his death, BUP will issue the check to the decedent, as long as the bank will allow it to be deposited into the estate account. If the decedent died intestate (without a will), then a personal representative must be appointed and file a claim with BUP. (Please refer to the question/answer above “What if the deceased owner died without a will?”).
A short certificate is a certification that an estate proceeding is on record in the Register of Wills office. This document can also be referred to as Letters of Administration or Letters Testamentary.
A Relationship by Entitlement to Decedent Owner Affidavit is a document that is sometimes used by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property to transfer unclaimed property to a decedent’s heir. It can be used when:
The Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code, 20 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3101 (e)(2)(i), requires that a certified death certificate must be presented. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Health prohibits the copying of certified death certificates.
The dormancy periods vary depending on the type of property, but for most types, the dormancy period is three (3) years. There are some exceptions, the most notable is payroll and commissions, which is two years. The property dormancy matrix can be found on Treasury’s website, along with the dormancy matrix that covers each of the fifty states.
Property, other than securities, may be reported before the dormancy period expires with the permission of the Treasurer. The holder must submit a request via the Early Remittance Request Form.
To file an extension, please complete the following form: Holder Extension Request. You may type directly into the form, print, and send an electronic copy via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
*Please note, extensions will not be granted for two consecutive years.
No, you can claim your funds on your own, directly with the Bureau of Unclaimed Property, free of charge. Anyone can claim unclaimed funds by submitting a claim form along with proof of ownership. Unclaimed property staff will assist you throughout the claims process and are available to answer your questions.
Contact a representative now at:Phone: 1.800.222.2046
Yes. Under Pennsylvania law, no person may assist in the recovery of unclaimed property and receive compensation therefor unless the person has applied for and received a certificate of registration from the Treasurer. It is illegal for finders to operate without the required Certificate of Registration.
You can also find out if a finder is registered by calling Finder Registration at:Phone: 1.717.787.1606
Yes. Under Pennsylvania law, a finder is not permitted to charge more than 15% of the total amount claimed.
If you do use a finder to help locate or claim your property, please make sure the identity of the finder is included on the claim form. Additionally, if a finder is assisting you, you must submit with your claim forms a copy of the agreement or contract between you and the finder and the agreement must comply with the following guidelines as required by Pennsylvania law:
Please be advised all unclaimed property payments will be made payable to and sent directly to the claimants and not to any third-party finders. If Treasury discovers that a finder is having payments made out or sent to them, they may be subject to an investigation that may result in a revocation of their finder registration.
To obtain an application for a certificate of finder registration, contact Finder Registration at:
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property continues to make a list of unclaimed property owners available for purchase. This list contains the name, last known address, nature and value of the property and the name of the reporting entity. Individuals requesting the unclaimed property disk must complete an Unclaimed Property Information List Request Form (below). The price for the disk is $300.00 plus sales tax (6%) for Pennsylvania residents only.
To request the forms by mail:
Yes, a Finder’s Certificate of Registration can be revoked as set forth in Section 1301.11b of the Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act.
The deadline to file an unclaimed property report with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is April 15th each year.
Negative reports are not statutorily required; however, since you have reviewed your books to determine no unclaimed property liability exists, we encourage you to take a few more minutes to file a voluntary negative report with Treasury. It is a quick and easy way to maintain a record of compliance with us.
Yes. To file a negative report electronically, click here and follow instructions to submit your report. You can also drop drown the "Unclaimed Property" menu on www.patreasury.gov, hover over “Resources for Reporting” and then click “Login for Holder Reporting” link.
Address United States Postal Service deliveries of Intangible Unclaimed Property Reports, payments and electronic media to:
Make the check payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, listing “Bureau of Unclaimed Property” in the memo line.
Yes, holders that wish to send payments to Treasury by a wire or ACH transfer should either call the holder line at 1-800-379-3999, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or email at email@example.com and a compliance professional will provide you with instructions.
As of September 10, 2016 due diligence is required to be performed. This must be done for property that the holder has in its records an address for the owner which has not been disclosed as inaccurate and the value of the property is $50 or more. Please refer to section 1301.10a of the Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property Statute for complete details.
Please note - holders/transfer agents for securities are required to perform due diligence according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.
Enter the assets of the company.
A first time filer should go back to the records from the beginning of the business, however, a minimum of ten years should be reviewed. First time filers should request to enter into Treasury’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement program. For more information, please download our form.
Yes, third parties can file on behalf of their clients, however the AP-1 form must be signed by a corporate officer.
All of the unclaimed property reporting forms are available on Treasury’s website. They are located in the “Unclaimed Property menu, under “Forms”.
Yes, you may use the electronic reporting software if you have less than ten items to report.
If you have more than 10 items to report it is required to file electronically.
Many organizations place a security feature on employees’ computers. Contact your IT Department to get administrative privileges.
At this time, Treasury cannot accept encrypted WINZIP files. HRS Pro and UP Exchange files are encrypted, but other files will be accepted on a case by case basis. You may also upload your report directly into Treasury’s Web site which is secure.
The aggregate amount is the highest amount that a property can be worth for which Treasury does not require the name and address of the owner in the report. The aggregate amount in PA is $49.99 and below.
There are no de minimis amounts. Any amount is reportable to Treasury.
501 C3 businesses are required to report if they have unclaimed property. This must be done by April 15th of each year to be in compliance with the Unclaimed Property Law. If there is no property to report, a negative report is not required under negative filing exemptions.
Sole proprietors are required to report if they have unclaimed property This must be done by April 15th of each year to be in compliance with the Unclaimed Property Law. If there is no property to report, a negative report is not required under negative filing exemptions.
Property for residents of other states should be reported to the state of the owner’s last known address. If it is reported to Pennsylvania, we will turn it over to the appropriate state, however, we do not encourage this reporting practice.
Unclaimed property should be reported to the state of the owner’s last known address. In this case, all property listing an address in Pennsylvania, should be reported to Pennsylvania. Any unknown property may be reported to the state of incorporation.
You, as the holder, can take one of two actions:
Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Law does not have a specific time frame for records retention in this scenario. However, Treasury recommends that holders retain their records for at least 10 years after submitting their report.
Examples of items accepted by the vault include:
If you have a question about whether an item is acceptable or not, please contact the Treasury Department at 717.705.6682.
Treasury recommends the use of electronic reporting for tangible property. Instructions can be found on Treasury’s website under the “Unclaimed Property” section and by clicking on “Resources for Reporting”, “Instructions for Reporting” and “Creating a Report”. The TUP-40 form may be used in lieu of electronic reporting, also available on Treasury’s website.
Property that has no true or rightful owner, called and “unknown” owner, is reportable after it has been held for one (1) year. Property held by police departments with a true and rightful owner is reportable after it is held for three (3) years.
No, if you file a positive report for one area (tangible or intangible), you are not required to file a negative report for the other area.
However, if your business needs to file positive reports for both tangible and intangible property, two separate reports must be filed.
In general, if the lease or rental period on a safe deposit box has expired due to non-payment of rental fees for a period of three years, the safe deposit box is considered abandoned. The financial institution is required to open the box, inventory the items and send certain contents of the box to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property in accordance with Section 1301.3 of the Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (DAUPA).
Miscellaneous papers, or papers without a monetary value such as birth and death certificates, deeds, and letters are not accepted by the Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Other contents, such as coins or jewelry, are held in safekeeping while the Treasury Department tries to find the rightful owner.
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property makes every effort to locate the rightful owners by sending letters to their last known addresses and advertising their names in the newspaper. If there is no response from the owner, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property may sell the property at auction to the highest bidder. The claimant receives all proceeds from the sale of the property.
The Bureau of Unclaimed Property offers a variety of auction venues. Treasury has an eBay store which frequently auctions items received by our tangible unit. Physical auctions are held at least annually in Denver, PA and are advertised on our public website prior to the event.
Yes, except Treasury employees and their immediate family members, who are prohibited from bidding on these items.