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Does your state owe you money? June 3, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood were astonished to read a piece in our local paper, the Allentown, PA Morning Call this morning, that announced that the Pennsylvania treasury held more than $15 million in assets that belonged to residents in our county alone. By going to their website, www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed, and typing in your name, you could see if the state owes you. (Of course, it doesn’t matter what county you live in; just type in your name and they all come up.)

Impoverished as we are, OFB and Silence wasted no time heading onto the website. There were no listings for our friend Ben, but sure enough, Silence had a check for “over $100” from the Department of Budget. Unfortunately, in order to receive it, she’d have to fill out a form, get another form, presumably fill that out, print it out, and get it notarized before sending it back to the PA Treasury to claim the check.

Needless to say, Silence was a bit perturbed by all this. First of all, we’ve never replaced our ancient, defunct printer, because we can’t afford to buy ink. Since it appears that the PA Treasury won’t send the final form as an e-mail, which could then be easily forwarded to someone with a functioning printer, the only option is “print screen,” a non-option for us.

Next, we don’t know how much a notary would charge us if we did turn up with the form. Since we don’t know how much the check is for, imagine if a notary charged more than it was worth! Gack. Finally, the check apparently dates back to 1997, and was reported in 2004. (“Why didn’t they contact me in 2004?!” Silence fumed. “After all, they have my address!!!”) Would our bank even cash a check from 1997?

Whatever. Point being, you might find it worthwhile to go onto your state’s treasury site to see if you happen to be owed some money. As the Morning Call article notes, it could be from “a bank account you forgot about, from an insurance payment you didn’t know you had coming, or from a credit you had with a merchant or vendor.” Or, say, a check that never made it to your house.

It’s definitely worth the effort. Two local residents are owed more than $20,000, according to the article. No harm in seeing if you’ve hit the jackpot!

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