There is money in reading.
A Morrell Park man read a Northeast Times story about a local legislator reuniting his constituents with their cash, talked to the lawmaker and now is awaiting a check for a few hundred bucks.
But first, the man had to go to his recycling bin, according to State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-169th dist.), who relayed the story his constituent told him.
Neilson had sent out letters to thousands of his constituents, telling them he had learned that the Pennsylvania Treasury Department was holding $11 million in unclaimed assets for people who live in his Far Northeast legislative district, and that he would help them find that dough at a “Treasury Hunt” event at his office last week.
The Morrell Park man told Neilson he had dismissed the letter as worthless, tore it in two and tossed it into his recycling bin. Then he saw a story in the newspaper’s Aug. 22 issue about how Neilson and his staff had found nearly $100,000 of that money for residents, fetched the torn letter and went over to the legislator’s office.
Now, he’s a few hundred bucks to the good.
It is the man’s money and always was. The state takes custody of money in dormant bank accounts, uncashed paychecks, abandoned or forgotten safety deposit boxes, uncashed or unclaimed dividends or travelers checks and holds them for their owners.
The total of what the state is holding is about $2 billion. The number was reduced by $111 million last year as successful claims were made, but the number still grew because the state took in about $200 million.
When Neilson took office after a special election in the spring, he heard about all that money, made some inquiries with the Treasury Department and got a report — and a CD — about the unclaimed money that belongs to residents in his district. He arranged for staff and a representative of the treasury department to be at his office last week to help people find out if any belonged to them.
By the end of this week, Neilson expects he and his staff will have found about $200,000 for individuals. His address is 3256 Red Lion Road. The office number is 215-281-3414.
He said he also has heard from several people who have done the work themselves by visiting www.patreasury.gov, clicking on Unclaimed Property and following the instructions. Do-it-your-selfers can also search other states and Canadian provinces by visiting www.missingmoney.com
Neilson said he found money that belongs to local churches and schools. He also discovered the Treasury Department is holding some assets for a community newspaper called the Northeast Times.
See, there is money in reading.